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BS: Religion, which is the best one?

Mr Happy 28 Sep 13 - 07:43 AM
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Subject: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 28 Sep 13 - 07:43 AM

For those seeking enlightenment, which of the many belief systems in the world do you think is the best?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: DMcG
Date: 28 Sep 13 - 07:56 AM

The one that makes you most able to help your fellows. And for some people, that could be atheistic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: bobad
Date: 28 Sep 13 - 07:58 AM

The Church of Bob


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 28 Sep 13 - 08:08 AM

They are all fairy stories, it seems that collectively most of mankind has a need to believe that someone else ie. a god is responsible for everything.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 28 Sep 13 - 08:28 AM

Sheffield Wednesday Football Club
Established 1867

Next question.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 28 Sep 13 - 11:13 AM

Poufs game.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Ed T
Date: 28 Sep 13 - 11:15 AM

What an odd thread question?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Sep 13 - 11:18 AM

I think I'd agree, Ed. It's a question that seems intended to provoke people.

Which one is the best one? The ones that are based on the Golden Rule (do unto others...) - in their roots, most major religions seek this ideal. And yes, most major religions have had members and leaders who have perverted and distorted this ideal from time to time. As institutions and communities age, they get stale - and they need constant renewal and reform.

You may call them fairy stories, Dave. I call them sacred myths that embody the ideals that religious people seek. Literalists cannot understand or respect myth. This is what strident atheists and religious fundamentalists have in common - they have no sense of poetry and cannot see beyond the literal interpretation of things, and they cannot respect ideas other than their own.

It seems to me that there is a deep connection between folklore and sacred myth. Shallow people may scoff at them - but once you take the time to ponder them with an open mind, you find there might just be something to it. While they may not want to ascribe to a religious creed themselves, tolerant and open-minded people refrain from dismissing religious beliefs, and acknowledge that religious creeds have inspired much wisdom, art, literature, music, and culture.

So, are you a fundamentalist/literalist, Dave?

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Sep 13 - 11:58 AM

Mr. Happy has started several threads like this recently... God knows why.

I suggest that folks refrain from playing this game....


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 28 Sep 13 - 12:22 PM

I don't respect myth.

I don't know why anyone would


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 28 Sep 13 - 01:11 PM

One mans myth is another mans belief!... Just because some people don't believe in something.. doesn't mean it has to be a myth...... or that it doesn't exist!


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 28 Sep 13 - 04:06 PM

The lack thereof. Go with intelligence.

But there is a great flowchart here for figuring it out based on your dietary preferences...


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Greg F.
Date: 28 Sep 13 - 04:48 PM

Just because some people don't believe in something.. doesn't mean it has to be a myth.

...also doesn't mean that isn't a myth.

Which Religion is best?

d. None of the above.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 28 Sep 13 - 04:55 PM

God doesn't believe in Atheists... but it doesn't mean they don't exist!


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 28 Sep 13 - 04:59 PM

Lightning Balls! Sign on the dotted line and send your donation to me or either of the joint Messiahs. Guaranteed happiness and Bingo every Wednesday.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 28 Sep 13 - 05:24 PM

john Blanchard wrote a book called "does God believe in atheists?".
it is a pretty thorough consideration of the question of atheism - but yes, I would say that would,nt I !.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Sep 13 - 05:36 PM

This is what strident atheists and religious fundamentalists have in common - they have no sense of poetry and cannot see beyond the literal interpretation of things, and they cannot respect ideas other than their own.

What an appallingly stupid thing to say. Please tell me that you regretted that remark the instant you hit send.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Bwl on grand daughters iPad
Date: 28 Sep 13 - 07:22 PM

The best religion is the one which is the least religious.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: mg
Date: 28 Sep 13 - 08:06 PM

I would say something like the Quakers...have done some great things in the world. Mormons are very good at stocking up food and helping after storms etc. Try to find one that does not hurt people.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 29 Sep 13 - 12:29 AM

Now, why am I reminded of the great Samuel Johnson's reply to a question as to which of two bad poets was better then the other? ~~

~~Johnson at once felt himself rouzed; and answered, "Sir, there is no settling the point of precedency between a louse and a flea."~~

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Sep 13 - 01:25 AM

I meant what I said, Steve Shaw. Religious faith requires a sense of poetry - otherwise, believers fall into the absurdities of fundamentalism. Take the creation story from Genesis. I admit that some people take it literally, but I don't think the writers wrote for them. If you look at it from a poetic viewpoint, it's an expression of wonder and awe at the world that surrounds us, seeing that world as a precious gift.

The Book of Isaiah is all poetry, and the works of many of the other prophets make sense only if one reads them with an eye for poetry. And the Song of Solomon, and the Book of Revelation. And the Holy Qur'an - lots and lots of poetry. The Bhagavad Gita? Same thing.

But I have found that strident atheists and religious fundamentalists can be interchangeable. They see things as absolutes. When the position they once held falls through, they grab onto the exact opposite with equal enthusiasm. And they cannot concede the validity of any perspectives other than their own.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket evolving slowly
Date: 29 Sep 13 - 01:49 AM

But Joe. Joe. Joe.

You know yourself, your use of Scripture to enrich and guide is increasingly a smaller part of religious expression. Most people taken in by religion tend to believe.

There seems to be a difference between having belief and believing. You seem to think everybody can make the distinction. I have news for you. At least two people on this thread would read Genesis as literal history and one struggles with the concept of dinosaurs.

I would agree that religious belief may require a sense of poetry but by that standard most believers would fail the test. I do note that children and vulnerable adults seem to be the main recruitment target of most cults.

Frankly, I have huge issues with your inferring that life without faith is lacking something. I also need to think through whether you are demonstrating capability when it comes to defining fundamentalists and "strident" atheists.

The vast majority of people, including those who lazily call themselves Christians through a sense of tradition rather than faith don't give a rat's arse unless and until religion affects them or decisions about them.

Calling such people atheists is labelling apathy and irrelevance as being some dark force setting itself up as an alternative to religion.

I don't look for alternatives to stamp collecting and I don't look for alternatives to religion yet it is obvious religious bodies are scared of being dismissed as irrelevant even more than they are of competing cults.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 29 Sep 13 - 02:07 AM

Oh, come, Joe: you know peerfectly well that Genesis was intended to be taken literally by Moses or whoever when he wrote it. Song Of Solomon, now -- what is that erotic love poem doing there anyhow? The K Jas Bible commentary about its being all about Christ's love for His Church is clearly nonsensical, unless they thought that Solomon (or whoever*) had the power of an 800+ year precise prophecy. And how did that nice long agnostic document Ecclesiastes ever infiltrate?

~M~

*The first verse, "The Song of Songs which is Solomon's", could equally translate from the Hebrew as "The Song of Songs which is about Solomon"; thus making no actual authorial claim ~~

שיר השירים אשר לשלומה


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 29 Sep 13 - 03:56 AM

I don't think "enlightenment" is the goal for most religions. For those seeking "enlightenment" I guess Zen Buddhism or some other non-typical spiritual system involving working at particular practises dedicated to achieving enlightenment would be the thing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 29 Sep 13 - 04:04 AM

I'm just a non believer Joe, I have a genuine love of traditional song, particularly English folk song, does this not count as poetry ?

I have tried several times to engage devout christians in discussions, but eventually they always trot out the same responses, ie. we don't understand God, he doesn't tell us his reasons, God works in mysterious
ways, God gave us free will etc.
If I ask a christian if god is all powerful, kind and full of mercy, why did he let a Bradford mother starve her child to death and leave his body in his cot for several years, they trot out the same old answers.

I constantly read news stories about child abuse [ sore point there for catholics ] child trafficking, lots of recent child murders, I can't rationalise these things with there being a god who is powerful enough to prevent these evil things with a wave of his hand........but doesn't.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 29 Sep 13 - 06:18 AM

Myth: A commonly-held but false belief, a common misconception; a fictitious or imaginary person or thing; a popular conception about a real person or event which exaggerates or idealizes reality.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Bobert
Date: 29 Sep 13 - 09:00 AM

"Buddha wasn't a Christian but
Jesus would have made a good Buddhist"... Ray Wylie Hubbard

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Kit Griffiths
Date: 29 Sep 13 - 09:23 AM

Mine


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Sep 13 - 10:46 AM

Gee, that got a lot of responses. It's hard to figure where to begin. Mr. Happy, you have properly given one definition of myth. Joseph Campbell and others define it as a sacred (fictional) story meant to convey a philosophical insight.

Here's another definition from Merriam-Webster: a usually traditional story of ostensibly historical events that serves to unfold part of the world view of a people or explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon

Musket says: You know yourself, your use of Scripture to enrich and guide is increasingly a smaller part of religious expression. Most people taken in by religion tend to believe.

Well, Musket, I have no doubt that fundamentalist religion is phenomenally popular, because it appeals to people who are reluctant to think for themselves. I think, though, that the fundamentalists appear more widespread than they actually are, because they spend a lot of money on media. Philosophical believers tend to spend their money on feeding the poor.

And don't try to blame ME for the follies of fundamentalism. It certainly isn't my cup of tea.

MtheGM, modern scripture scholars say the Pentateuch (Torah, five books of Moses), including Genesis, were written and rewritten over a period of over five hundred years, building on traditional creation myths and expanding beyond that. I'd go back to Joseph Campbell again - would he say that ancient peoples held their sacred stories with the same sort of mindless literalism common in fundamentalist churches nowadays?

Back to you, Musket: There seems to be a difference between having belief and believing. You seem to think everybody can make the distinction. I have news for you. At least two people on this thread would read Genesis as literal history and one struggles with the concept of dinosaurs.
I would agree that religious belief may require a sense of poetry but by that standard most believers would fail the test. I do note that children and vulnerable adults seem to be the main recruitment target of most cults.
Frankly, I have huge issues with your inferring that life without faith is lacking something. I also need to think through whether you are demonstrating capability when it comes to defining fundamentalists and "strident" atheists.


Musket, I think you're putting words in my mouth there. I think you're missing something if you dismiss all religious beliefs and practices as foolishness. I am not a Muslim, but I have found much in Islam that I can learn from. But if I dismiss Islam altogether as violent fundamentalism, I dismiss all the wonderful things that have been accomplished by Muslim scholars through the ages.
And even fundamentalist Christians have their value, as long as they're not the kind who use their fundamentalism as a support for their bigotry.
And no, I don't think everybody can make distinctions, in whatever matter is before them. Sadly, that ability seems to be becoming increasingly rare.

Dave Hanson says: If I ask a christian if god is all powerful, kind and full of mercy, why did he let a Bradford mother starve her child to death and leave his body in his cot for several years, they trot out the same old answers. Dave, that's looking at God as some sort of Master Puppeteer that controls whatever happens in life. You know from your own experience that's not the way life works - shit happens. Most things happen by coincidence or by logical consequence. How we respond to what happens, is what makes the difference.
Most ancient perspectives define God as ineffable, undefinable. But if I were to attempt a definition, I would say that God is "That Who Is Beyond, and That Who Is Within" - I think that's a definition that is consistent with the mainstream traditions of most major religious denominations. Not a cut-and-dried answer, I'll agree - but it's something to ponder. And people have pondered over that for millennia.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Wesley S
Date: 29 Sep 13 - 03:09 PM

While we're at it can we decide what the best breed of dog is? An who's the best singer and guitar player? And what is folk music anyway?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 29 Sep 13 - 03:55 PM

Border Terrier
Me
Me
Whatever I want it to be.

Do I get the prize?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Sep 13 - 04:23 PM

Mr Happy said: "For those seeking enlightenment, which of the many belief systems in the world do you think is the best?"

Pretty much there were no respondents to this thread who were interested in answering the question postulated.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Donuel
Date: 29 Sep 13 - 04:56 PM

I remember this post from 13 years ago

Back then I posted
my dogs better than your dog
my dogs better than yours
my dogs better cuz he won't eat kENNEL RATION
my dogs better than yours.



I had family members who went to school for religious studies.
I instead experienc3ed and participated in Christianity, Judaism, Zen Buddhism, Nichren sho shu Buddhism, Mystical Islam "Gurdjeiff", Bahai,
Hinduism. I read about many others like Casteneda and the Power of Myth collection but experiencing the various religions taught me more about the people and real life alterations religions actually cause.

And the winner is...

you.


if you experience as many or more as I did.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: selby
Date: 29 Sep 13 - 05:51 PM

Seems to me the most popular religion is the religion of ME, you see it on the roads, in the supermarket, its around everywhere and it seems to work for lots of people.
Keith


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 29 Sep 13 - 11:44 PM

musket-- concept of dinosaurs - what does that mean.
I have not noticed anyone having trouble with the FACT of dinos, though there are lots of people believing they lived millions of yrs ago, despite evidence that they were much more recent.

joe- just because someone takes the biblical narrative as historically trustworthy hardly means they are unthinking. hopefully that was just a gross generalization, and not the bigotry it at first appears.
and on the subject of charitable giving, I hear that fundamentalists give more than liberals, and not to just church based causes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 02:25 AM

Well, Pete, I think that the rigid, combative literalism of many biblical fundamentalists of the current day, is just wrong. Trying to prove scientific or historical information from the Bible is foolhardy.

I do not believe that the Bible or the Qur'an or other sacred writings were intended to be taken as literally as modern fundamentalists take them. Many even ignore the context of what they read, and try to prove things with single, out-of-context verses. They lose sight of the spiritual impact and importance of these sacred writings, because they're too bound up trying to use the Bible to disprove science and history.

On the other hand, I do think that some people overly intellectualize religious belief, to the point where non-intellectuals can feel uncomfortable. When I teach Bible study, I ask people to read large passages, at least half a page, and then think about how the passage affects them - without intellectualizing the thing.

And yeah, I think that "someone [who] takes the biblical narrative as historically trustworthy," has been misled. Their rigidity makes a laughingstock of the Bible, and of religious belief in general. I wish I could be more generous, but I truly believe that fundamentalism is wrong. I think that the Bible was written within a historical context, but it is not intended to teach science or history. There are ways to be conservative without buying into the rigid extremes of the fundamentalists - but rigid biblical literalism, is just wrong. It's an embarrassment to Christianity, as Islamic fundamentalism is an embarrassment to Islam.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket evolving slowly
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 02:28 AM

That's more like it. Attaboy!


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 03:18 AM

Now, the historical information in the Bible starts getting more accurate after the reign of David, although much of the story of David and Solomon seems to be in the language of myth, not history. It goes off into myth again in the stories of Elijah and Elisha. And of course, the stories of Jonah and Job are clearly fictional - with elements of folktales. Jonah and Job are both meant to teach a lesson, not teach history.

Now, don't think it's only religious fundamentalists I abhor - I have similar disdain for antireligious fundamentalists, who interpret the Bible and other sacred writings with the same literalism - and then condemn these sacred writings as absurd. That sort of "I'm the only one who's right" rigidity is poison.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 08:54 AM

Any one whose followers are enjoined to mind their own sodding business, and let others get on with theirs.

In other words, it doesn't exist.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 09:30 AM

Whoever strives for wisdom (what the OP seems to mean by "enlightenment") should study thoroughly and critically whatever ideas mankind has produced - starting with the ones that were most influential on one's native culture. We can learn from such ideas and their historical and sociological contexts no matter to what extent we approve of them. In other words, we study mankind as such.

Religion is a different thing from wisdom, though somewhat related. There is no such thing as a best, good, bad, or worst religion (as opposed to theology or religious teaching). Your religion is your identity, rooted in the history of your cultural context, so you normally have no choice at all. Rather, some people can be said to have more religion than others.

Religious teachings are attempts to verbalize religion, necessarily inadequate. The larger part of religion is non-verbal, encoded in rituals and everyday customs. For children, the first important question is "Who are we?", then comes "Who am I, and how can I interact with this community?", and only third, and latest, comes "What is the world like?" For each of these questions we have distinct languages - since they use the same words, they sometimes seem to conflict. We must remind ourselves and others from time to time that religion is not meant to tell us anything about the objective world.

Like all aspects of human life, religion is being hijacked to increase some persons' own ego, power, wealth, etc. This means that even the most righteous religious leaders cannot always be trusted to say, or even know, the truth about the very religion they represent. If you asked Bill Gates about the nature of computing and software, you would not expect an unbiased answer either, and you would not condemn all computing because of his unsatisfactory answers.

The relation between religion and doing good is much more complex than reflected in verbal teachings. In particular, it is absolutely wrong to believe that religion was invented to make simple people altruistic and obedient.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Claire M
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 09:50 AM

Hiya,

Music can, & does do all that for me. Does a much better job, too.

I love to hear an ole blues man singing about how he done gone over, & how Jesus gone make up his dying bed. It was & is one of the greatest joys of my life, & when I'm carried to my own bury'n ground [walk me along, carry me along] I want lots played; but as much as I love it it doesn't make me believe in any of the sentiment behind it. I wish I did, but you can't make yourself believe it.

Why would I want anything to do w/ someone who chose to put me in a wheelchair ??

§


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 10:07 AM

Claire, have you heard religious people say that it was God that put you in a wheelchair? I would say your physical condition put you there, and your physical condition is the result of a number of natural factors - logical consequence of a number of events.
Pete, you're a conservative Christian - how would you answer this question?

And Pete, I usually try to avoid arguing with people who "take the biblical narrative as historically trustworthy." If asked directly, I say I cannot accept biblical fundamentalism. It is directly contrary to what I was taught in eight years of seminary, and in four decades of study after that. But if that's what people believe and they're not trying to force that on me or on my kids in school, then I see no reason to argue with it. People believe, what they believe - and for the most part, I think they should be allowed to do so - and respected for who they are, not what they believe. I disagree with your beliefs, but respect you because I think you are an honest, decent, gentle, fair-minded person. Same with Ake.

Can't say the same for the people here who are always in "attack" mode. I have no respect for that.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 10:24 AM

Amen.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 10:55 AM

Joe ~~ If God, however one conceives of such an entity (if one does), cannot control "natural factors" and their "logical consequence" ~~ then what is he/it FOR, please? Whence came those "natural factors"?

Regards

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 04:24 PM

In my view, it is a mistake to ask religion to explain anything in the physical world. Also, the traditional attributes of God, including his "existence", are not applicable in terms of physics.

Although I am not a friend of formulations like "music is my religion", it seems to me that Claire has grasped the essence of religion more precisely than she may think.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Ed T
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 04:24 PM

"Religion. It's given people hope in a world torn apart by religion."
― Jon Stewart


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 05:20 PM

You may call them fairy stories, Dave. I call them sacred myths that embody the ideals that religious people seek. Literalists cannot understand or respect myth. This is what strident atheists and religious fundamentalists have in common - they have no sense of poetry and cannot see beyond the literal interpretation of things, and they cannot respect ideas other than their own.

Just a thought - but surely the literalists are the ones who seek these elusive religious ideals in Myths and 'Fairy Stories' thus missing the point? Away from that sort of literalism, Myths operate on a level more akin to poetry in the sense of ostranenie that a more literary approach reveals. I would argue such an approach is more respectful to the material of myth / fairy story which becomes a window to ideas far greater than our own - and far greater than anything 'religious' as such. Religious thinking is 'literalism' that holds (say) the creation found in Genesis to be 'true' / 'metaphorical' in an actual sense rather than just a story. The literalist / religious person (fundamentalist or otherwise) believes it to be the Word of God, thus missing the true beauty of the thing which is entirely human.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Ed T
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 06:12 PM

"If America leads a blessed life, then why did God put all of our oil under people who hate us?"
― Jon Stewart


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 06:16 PM

Human is a large word, whereof conscious invention by individuals is only a small part. Most of what we are, comes from our ancestors and from the whole history of our cultures, in a way that cannot be traced to single willful acts of anybody such as authors/editors of mythology. If that is not "the Word of God", or the Holy Spirit, what else?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 07:01 PM

hi joe, its very late and I don't think I should attempt answer now.
also, it is unclear to me wether Claire has been told this or she blames God for her condition.
if you are ok with telling us, that would be helpful,but of course we don't want to intrude uninvited.   blessings pete.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Donuel
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 07:59 PM

How to sure fire no buts about it, meet god.

If you are the kind of person who would like god to answer your question, if you need god to be within you so that you and god merge in an active and intelligent co-entity capable of doing gods work with your own hands, if you need god to be available to you within an hour...

I can guarantee that you will have that experience.

step 1.    make a comfortable area for yourself.
step 2.    ask yourself what question you would like to have answered and write it down.
step 3.    swallow 3 fresh Amazonia Cubensis psilocybe or one large 4 inch mushroom. Legally available by spores worldwide. 40 day waiting period to grow (not legal in US)
step 4.    Be watchful for an answer that make come in the form of free floating graphic design, writing or other means of which you may not yet be familiar.
step 5.    Allow eye closure to present pictured scenarios that will present themselves to you at the beginning in amazing symmetry and brilliance.
step 6.    Celebrate and enjoy the clear eyed joy of your communion with god for over 4 hours.


I practiced many religions communally and have learned the wisdom of their methods and even have had marvelous revelations and enlightenment however for a sure fire religious experience in a receptive mind set, Amazonia is far more profound and instructive than any other drug including LSD ecstasy etc..
Other psilocybin mushrooms including the philosopher's stone are party favors in comparison.

Symbolic communication in shapes is not uncommon. In answer to the question in 1990 of what new energy source will soon emerge, the answer was a triangle in a circle floating in mid air. Translation atomic wt. 1 +atomic wt.3 = Hydrogen and Lithium=Lithium Hydride.

Remember to take your questions seriously and happy finding to you, its the best one by far.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 12:43 AM

MtheGM, the idea of a deity who writes the script for whatever happens, just doesn't work. I suppose there are some who see it that way, but through the millennia, the main stream of religious thinking has not taken that simplistic approach. In general, religious thinkers define God as ineffable, and say that any attempt to define God is bound to fall short. The Orthodox define God by oxymorons. The Western Church has some - trinity, virgin birth, transcendent yet immanent, etc. The idea is that God is known by experience, not by observation or indoctrination. Yeah, I've had that sort of experience at times, and it's good. It's not a shoutin' jumpin' hallelujah! sort of thing for me - it's more like a passing moment of absolute serenity.

All I can say is that I've lived my life practicing a religious creed and steeped in a religious tradition, and it works for me. I'm quite certain it does not restrict my thinking in any way. For me, it makes me consider things more deeply and to consider alternatives and to take chances - although I concede that it doesn't work that way for many people. And even though it works very well for me, I'm not so sure that I would recommend that anyone practice a religion. That's something they have to choose for themselves.

I kinda like you the way you are, Mike. Don't go religious on me, now. ;-)

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 12:54 AM

Gee, thanks Joe. No fear of that at this time of day; tried it in middle age, and as my dearest late wife put it, it didn't 'take'! You are one of the good guys too BTW. So Keep the Faith now...

~ 〠 ☺·M·☺ 〠 ~


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Donuel
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 02:06 AM

Joe,
your education including four years in the seminary you say has certainly not constricted your thinking. In other words you did not grow narrow of mind but actually feel you have broadened an open mind because of that particular nurturing education.

What do you think of the idea that focusing the mind over time in a particular discipline or at least refining your thinking is still to the exclusion of something/anything contrary.

They say it isn't possible to hold two contrary thoughts in your mind at the same time.

Not meant as a trap question or a conundrum, I am just saying that you really can not know if you would have equated strident atheists and literal fundamentalists if not for your religious education.

Still for some of the very reasons you cite I consider myself a poetic or spiritual atheist and not a linear one size fits all strident person.

It has been said that having experienced a spectrum of religions or meaningful myths and aphorisms the experience of epiphany would be more dilute than if one had experienced and focused on only one religion. I would naturally disagree. But then again, how could I really know having only experienced only one side of the "equation".


Perhaps the undercurrent of my remarks relates to an incident where you did react in a very linear fashion towards me. No offense was taken, since I knew it was a misunderstanding, besides I can see how separating my humorous remarks from hard rhetoric can be a near impossible task. Since the joke is already in my head by the time the words hits the page, I might mistakenly only write down the punch line.

I proof read now and am more attentive to not bruising any kind souls even by accident, but still they walk right into the road without looking and BAM they get rear ended by a metaphor d




Like not answering the rhetorical question, wasn't it refreshing that no one actually said that Christianity is the best religion hands down... like TV evangelists would?
It is interesting that no one was willing to be that fundamentalist.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 06:28 AM

Like Joe, I am "not so sure that I would recommend that anyone practice a religion", but I can recommend everyone to explore her or his identity, in the sense of my (weaker and more abstract) notion of religion. Those who feel obliged to cut off their own roots completely cannot possibly be successful with that; a personality can never be based solely on some verbal doctrine, such as science, codified ethics, or any sort of scripture or ideology. The residual root fragments will sprawl uncontrolled, often causing the person to feel miserable. Even intelligent people may well end up being worse oppressed than previously.

Sharing a religious context ("a religion") should not exclude criticizing each other's ideas and practices. Conflicts are inevitable.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 11:35 AM

Donuel says: They say it isn't possible to hold two contrary thoughts in your mind at the same time.

I dunno. I do it all the time. When I make a decision, I am still aware of the many good points of the path I did not take. When I take a stand on something, I am almost always aware that there are other ways of looking at the matter. Still, I have to make a choice - but if it's a choice worth thinking about, I know that I will have some regrets and doubts about the decision I made. Sure, there are some "no brainer" decisions in life - but in those cases, only the brainless would choose the alternative.

And as somebody who seriously believes in God, I am constantly aware of the real possibility that there might not be a God. Doubt is healthy, I think.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 01:35 PM

as Claire has not given us anymore context, I will venture a few thoughts[ on suffering in general] as ,joe ,you were kind enough to ask me. however I suspect that despite your 8 yrs in seminary teaching you that scripture is not reliable for believers to follow, you will have a good idea of the main thrust of my thoughts.
the bottom line is that bible teaching is that suffering only arrived when our first parents disobeyed God.
so a perfectly created world was marred as a consequence and judgment of God. but beyond this, particular afflictions are not usually due to particular sins, though there are texts that indicate that this may be the case sometimes. the story in john gospel of the blind man illustrates that there is no definite causal connection. the disciples thought his affliction due to sin by him, or his parents. but Jesus said it was not due to either. john 9.
following on from the world being effected by the fall, what happens now is chance and natural fallout, as you also suggested.
however in the OT just about every event is attributable to God. job says for example "..shall we receive good at the hand of the Lord and not evil also..." and the narrative indicates that though satan brought the calamities, it was permitted by God.
I realize that this may raise more questions, and I don't pretend to know the complete answer. but this is enough for now .


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket curious
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 09:56 PM

I got as far as "disobeyed God" then felt rather comfortable being seen as one who, as Joe describes them, is in attack mode.

Attack isn't the correct word though Joe. I would say that "react" would be a better choice of words. I also say that your being comfortable with fundamentalists so long as they don't go for the children is rather naive wouldn't you say? Another faith based school was shut down by inspectors in The UK yesterday I notice.

In the meantime religion has given us some rather wonderful edifices. I am about to visit The Emerald Temple here in Bangkok. (Even irreligious sods need a holiday from fighting the good fight eh? )


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: number 6
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 10:33 PM

"Religion, which is the best one?"


.


.


good grief

.

.

I'm definitely staying away from this thread.



biLL


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 12:21 AM

Musket says: I also say that your being comfortable with fundamentalists so long as they don't go for the children is rather naive wouldn't you say?

I don't think I would ever say that, Musket. I'm never comfortable with fundamentalists, because I have to be excruciatingly polite and have to watch every word I say. I'm usually comfortable with atheists, though. But I do think that fundamentalists have a right to teach their own children what they believe, and to raise them as they see fit - as long as they don't force their beliefs on tax-supported schools.




Pete talks about my 8 yrs in seminary teaching you that scripture is not reliable for believers to follow

But Pete, I think that Scripture is very reliable - I just think you interpret it falsely when you see allegory as fact, and not as sacred stories written to teach lessons.

Certainly, sin has logical consequences - but to see unrelated misfortune as a consequence of sin, is misunderstanding the lesson Genesis is teaching. Even Jesus himself told his contemporaries to get over the idea of sin causing disabilities, most notably blindness.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 12:59 AM

Trouble is, Joe, that so much of scripture won't fit your formula, or keeps contradicting itself. Are we, for instance, to take the story of Lot & his daughters {Gen XIX 30-38} as 'teaching' that incest can be OK in some situations, tho vehemently denounced absolutely elsewhere? And of course one could multiply instances.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 01:40 AM

Michael, of course the Bible contradicts itself. It's a collection of writings from various authors, all of whom are completely human, although they are people who have faith in God and some sort of divine inspiration. Genesis just tells the story. Most likely, it's a fragment of a folk tale. About all I take from it, is that it's a very interesting story, saying that the two girls got daddy drunk and had sex with him so they could bear children and continue the line. I think we need to use our common sense as our primary guide when reading scripture. Is the Bible telling men to have sex with their daughters? I suppose some men might interpret it that way, but that's downright ludicrous.

The lesson, of course, is that people do weird things - not that the weird things are recommended.

-Joe-

Genesis 19:30-38


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,BigDaddy
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 02:41 AM

What Joe Offer said above, with the admonition that your religion of choice should not cause others to flee from your presence e.g. don't evangelize).


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 03:07 AM

Nor should your religion of choice cause you to engage in ongoing wars and social unrest against those who follow a different persuasion.

But I think I recall one or two occasions when it did.

And I think that we of the disinterested nature shouldn't be subjected to the collateral damage these differences cause.

g


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 03:13 AM

Why did the inspectors close the school Musket?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 03:16 AM

Never mind Musket.
I found it.
http://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/oct/02/muslim-faith-school-closes-on-first-day-of-ofsted-inspection


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 03:47 AM

But Musket, why "Another faith based school was shut down by inspectors in The UK yesterday" ?

Has such a thing ever happened before?
Any school?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket curious
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 06:23 AM

A Christian one in The North East. Look it up. My Internet costs too much over here. Various LEAs have successfully opposed free school applications where discrimination against non believers was apparent.

I managed to upset Jerk the Sea Cadet when I said I fully support those who tell gullible schools with decent educational achievement that their offspring are Catholic, Church of England whatever to get them in, as is their right but easier to fob them off than fight their prejudice in the courts. A friend told me there is something wrong when you have to effectively lie to get what is yours by right.

I, like many find the idea of school being anything other than secular repulsive. I recall my headmaster preaching god is love then getting a hard on when caning us. He was known for it. Mind you his tastes were strange. I was caned regularly yet I was no oil painting. How does that work?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 08:01 AM

I have failed to find report of other school closures Musket.
Sorry.

You do not have a right for your kids to go to any particular school.
I also think it wrong to lie, and make your children lie, to get the advantage of a faith school education.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 12:11 PM

I wouldn't call state-sponsored faith based education an advantage, Keith. Each to his or her own, religion wise. I just resent paying for it!


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Claire M
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 12:41 PM

Hiya,

In answer to your q, Joe; yes! 1 man hung on my chair insisting that I'd be healed, & it took my friend shouting that I wasn't interested to get him to go away.

1 was a carer; he was v good @ his job but he told me my disability was God's choice more than once.

When younger, I went to various youth clubs that I didn't realise were religious until long after I'd left them. I went w/ another disabled girl. There was a shocking lack of things for either of us to do then.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 01:13 PM

Faith schools consistently do better here, which is why atheists like Musket are willing to make liars of themselves and their kids to get in, depriving deserving kids of their place.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Paul Burke
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 02:19 PM

The best religion is, of course, π-ety, of which religion I am Pope.

Joe: playing the good guy/ bad guy thing again, I'm afraid. Yes, you have probably had deep experiences, which you believe informs your attitude to other human beings, and you attribute to God. But that arsehole screaming at the cripple to believe and be healed, that shitbag machinegunning children for the glory of God, those black garbed women humiliating and torturing girls for the service of Mary, the holy jailers dragging tortured dissidents to the fire while the surplice- clad chanters looked on... all these would have claimed exactly the same motivation for their actions. I put it to you that your social beliefs would have been much the same had you been of any other religion or none at all, and so would theirs, and you can't tell from the evidence whether the "true" God is theirs or yours.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: sciencegeek
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 02:40 PM

if this were a multiple choice question, my answer must be "none of the above".

what is your defnition of "best"? Best at putting power into the hands of a select few who control access to "god(s)? Or best at dividing people into Them vs. Us? Or best at practicing hypocrisy?

Religions are under no constraint to promote the betterment of mankind and/or the planet, or to practice what they preach if the original founders had that in mind at the beginning. And most folks prefer the religious belief system that they grew up in and feel comfortable with... imho, based on my experience with religion and the folks who practice it.

And then there are those for whom religion is uncomfortable at best and find they are quite content without it. And also darn sick & tired of having to deal with those who feel it is their mission to "save" us from our ill chosen path. Then it would be really nice to believe in hell so we could consign them to it. But.. no such luck.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 04:00 PM

it is hardly any surprise if an atheist lies ,keith, though probably many don't make a practise of it. they have no ultimate authority ,after all, do they.
if Christians are liars they are inconsistent with their faith.

oh joe, so how do you decide what is allergory and myth among the narratives in scripture. obviously there are many scholars who see no reason to denigrate the historical narratives as being mythological . seems to me it is the starting propositions that guide the theologian. which of the church fathers saw millennia in gen 1 ,or dismissed the miraculous elsewhere as fable?.
and do you think the first followers of the way gave their lives for a myth?
as to tax payers,-there will be a lot of them in your country that are unhappy about paying to have their kids taught evolution myths.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Ed T
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 04:43 PM

""it is hardly any surprise if an atheist lies ,keith, though probably many don't make a practise of it. they have no ultimate authority ,after all, do they.if Christians are liars they are inconsistent with their faith.""


What a pile of broad, inconsiderate rude, illogical and condescending BS that statement is! I am embarrassed that a (so called) Christian "good person" would put that pile of crap (figuratively posting) forward. I ask that Atheists, (no, I am not in this group) see it that it as merely "one persons" skewed opinion (a Christian gone astray, may I speculate), and is not a view reflective of the all in the Christian faith's opinion of Atheists and non-Christians.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Big Phil
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 04:51 PM

Religion, which is the best one?

In a word - none. They are all a pain in the arras.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 09:33 PM

Ooh... Those atheists, they don't half lie! Not like those nice Christians eh?

After all, nobody has said they are a Christian when they don't believe in all that fairy tale nonsense have they?

Better a sanctimonious hypocrite than a honest liar I suppose?

Luckily, my lads went to a school that didn't have any religion built in other than studying it in abstract. So... Contrary to the spin and bullshit Keith has just put out, I have never said I'm a Christian when I'm not in order to get into the school of choice for my children.

But I would.

And I totally support the thousands who do.

After all, the Church of England claim there are so many Christians despite church attendance suggesting otherwise, lying about being Christian seems to start at the top, and when in Rome.......



pete. Ever thought it is all "allegory?" Just a thought. If lying is something Christians don't do mate, your club is smaller than I thought. Do you tell kids creationist nonsense? After all, that's all lies.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 01:24 AM

Paul Burke,
I, also, have a very low opinion of that arsehole screaming at the cripple to believe and be healed, that shitbag machinegunning children for the glory of God, those black garbed women humiliating and torturing girls for the service of Mary, the holy jailers dragging tortured dissidents to the fire while the surplice- clad chanters looked on. I abhor that kind of conduct, and I have never done any of those things. Don't ask me to defend them or to identify myself with them.

All I said is that I've practiced my religion all my life, and it's good for me. If that's what I do and I'm a decent person who makes a good contribution to society, then leave me alone - and don't include me in your generalizations. I'm not trying to recruit you or preach to you.

This experience of God I've spoken of, is what the Buddhists call Nirvana and the mystics call ecstasy. It's an abandonment of self and a focus on the Other, and it brings an experience of serenity and peace and a feeling of unity with the One. I'll bet "that shitbag machinegunning children for the glory of God" hasn't experienced that. Peace and serenity do not seem to be part of the sort of religion that you and I despise.


pete from seven stars link, I don't think you understand what I'm saying. I am not denigrating Scripture in any way. The so-called "factual" aspect of the Bible really doesn't matter. If we find out some day that God really did create the world in seven days, what difference would it make? Yes, it would prove you and other fundamentalists right and boost your ego and maybe get a born-again Republican in the White House, but what value is that? What's important is the message, that God has been involved with this world since its very beginning, and that "God saw that it was good." [Note: NOT depraved].

You can waste your time and money looking for Noah's ark on Mount Ararat and seeking archaeological evidence that the Hebrews were in Egypt and that all those plagues really did happen, or you can spend your time looking deeper into the Bible for its meaning.

My view of scripture is taught in most Catholic, Episcopalian/Anglican, Congregationalist, Lutheran, and Presbyterian seminaries. Only the born-again "bible colleges" teach your fundamentalist point of view. In those other seminaries, the name "Scofield" receives no respect, and KJV is obsolete.

If you'd like to see another perspective, I'd suggest William Barclay's Daily Study Bible, a classic biblical commentary that's written for all to understand. Interpreter's One-Volume Commentary on the Bible is another good one.

How do you tell which parts of the Bible are written in mythical or allegorical language? Well, most of it is. Only the unimportant parts are historically accurate. The New Testament is closer to history, but even then the Gospel writers are writing primarily for meaning, not for exacting historical accuracy. If you don't accept this description of the style of writing of the scripture writers, then you have to do a silly dance around the facts to try to explain all the inconsistencies. There's an easy answer: the scripture writers didn't care about being consistent and accurate, because that wasn't their purpose. They had a message to convey, a message that was of vital importance to them.

Is it more important to love God and neighbor, or to prove that Noah had an ark? Oh, and how is it that God created light and darkness on the first day and didn't get around to creating the sun and the moon until the fourth day? And how could there be evening, morning, and even days before there was a sun and moon?

My answer is to read these things as beautiful, poetic stories that help me approach the wonder of God. I need poetry to take me to God - prose and historical "facts" just won't do the trick.

I don't dwell on the theoretical or intellectual stuff when I teach Bible studies, and I do my best to bridge the gaps between liberals and conservatives. I insist that my students "respect the integrity of the story" and that they not over-intellectualize. I teach them to seek the meaning of the passage, and not to get bogged down in arguing about fine points. Studying scripture is not about proving the other guy wrong. It's about opening yourself to the message of what you're reading.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 05:42 AM

Actually, where I live the faith schools are no better than the secular schools. Even if they were, I wouldn't support them as I want my son to be able to make his own mind up about religion rather than being brought up in one regardless. Personally, I don't accept the notion of god, but I won't and can't force that on him, though I will discuss it if he asks. Meanwhile, it beggars belief that the state (via our taxes) pays for faith-based education when the majority of people do not subscribe to any particular faith. And if your nearest local state school has a selective faith-based admissions policy, who can blame those parents who lie in order to access it for their children? After all, they are paying for it!


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 02:16 PM

joe, I hear what you are saying , but I don't see a contradiction between the NT writing for meaning being inconsistent with being factual. luke for example gave the historical context at the beginning of his account. you may know btw, that critics used to say that was inaccurate, till archaeology confirmed its veracity.
jesus said " if I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how shall you believe if I tell you heavenly things?" similarly if we cant trust the bible as factual, why trust its moral and spiritual message?
day and night before the sun? hardly difficult.
all that is required is a a source of light and a rotating earth.
do you think that would be a problem to God , joe?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 02:45 PM

ed- you are entitled to your opinion, but if you would like to discuss what I posted ,as maybe you read more into it than was there, that would be good.
if , however you just wanted to sound your objection and leave it there, that's your prerogative.   pete.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religon, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Ed T
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 03:08 PM

OK Pete, exlain?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Paul Burke
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 05:06 PM

it brings an experience of serenity and peace and a feeling of unity with the One

I think you should perhaps reflect whether your feeling of "unity with the One" is not perhaps self delusion. Your feelings can be mistaken; and how on Earth do you know that other people, with a feeling of unity with their God as sure as yours but an opposite conclusion as to action, can therefore not have had an experience as moving for them as your own?

I'd suggest that people should have the courage to reject such mental aberrations.

It's an abandonment of self or the apotheosis of self esteem?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 05:27 PM

"You can waste your time and money looking for Noah's ark on Mount Ararat and seeking archaeological evidence that the Hebrews were in Egypt and that all those plagues really did happen, or you can spend your time looking deeper into the Bible for its meaning."
.,,.
Just out of interest, Joe: why "or"? Who made the rule you can't do both?

~M~

Devil's advocating, of course; since, as no sort of believer, I don't have a dog running in this particular race. It's just that part of my 'legendary pedantry' has the effect of my going all sort of pins'n'needles-y at an illogicality, only curable by my pointing it out. Sorry!


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket evolving slowly
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 09:27 PM

Plagues eh? Reminds me of The Two Ronnies sketch when Ronnie Barker said that a plague of locusts has collided with a load of frogs coming in the other direction. Police are appealing for Jehovas Witnesses.

Having been spending the last two days being dragged around Buddhist temples here in Bangkok I have been picking up on how local guides and others explain their beliefs to we tourists.

I particularly picked up on various people pointing out statues of Buddha sitting on a serpent. They all without exception have called it a mythical serpent. Not a real one, not an extinct one but a mythical one. When looking at wall paintings about the life of Buddha people have spoke of "stories attributed" where unrealistic claims of fantasy were required.

Reminds me of the Maori guides in New Zealand who prefaced most of their speeches with "we traditionally believe. .."

Both seem more refreshing than "truth" a word used by the Christian faith far too regularly for many intelligent people to be taken in by. As I said many times on these threads, the Joe Offer model may be one many non believers could be comfortable with, but it is a small faction in a relentless jealous cult.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 11:36 PM

Paul Burke, why should I have to defend my religious faith to you? You push your nonbelief on me like you were a Jehovah's Witness on my doorstep. All I can say, is that it works for me, and it brings joy and richness to my life. If it's a delusion, what the hell? It's healthier than drugs. I am fascinated not only by my own Catholic tradition, but also by Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, and various Protestant traditions. I find them to be rich, interesting, colorful, and full of both wisdom and foibles. Whether they are truth or not, is something you can argue with Pete. To my mind, "truth" is highly overrated, and smacks of ideological narcissism. To me, honesty is far more important than "truth."

Michael, it seems to me that there is a certain pitiable futility in looking for Noah's ark on Mount Ararat and seeking archaeological evidence that the Hebrews were in Egypt and that all those plagues really did happen. And from what I can see, such quests lack intellectual honesty, since the seekers cannot conceive that what they seek to prove might not be factual. Not that I'm about to stop them. It's good for the economy of Egypt and wherever Mount Ararat is (Turkey, right?).

Pete, how do you explain all the discrepancies among the four evangelists? My explanation: they weren't writing for historical accuracy. They were writing to convey their own experience of Jesus Christ, and every relationship is different.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Donuel
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 11:56 PM

For his can do spirit, rational thought and progressive attitudes, I believe Joe Offer would make an excellent Pope, as good if not better than the current progressive Pope.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 02:58 AM

He has my vote.
Is that how it is done?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 05:48 AM

'honesty is far more important than "truth."'???


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: DMcG
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 07:17 AM

I'd agree with Joe, Mr H. "Truth" is, as they say, rarely plain and never simple. Even in the sciences, "truth" is always provisional, and in mathematics it is simply self-consistency, not some absolute. Honesty, on the other hand, while clearly only about a single individual (or more precisely about the relationship between speaker and listener), can have an 'absolute' quality that "truth" can't.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 08:28 AM

So, for you, there's a conflict of truth & honesty?

I'd appreciate further clarification


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 09:16 AM

It really is a laugh!
I was glancing through a book on Islam beliefs and the writer said that the references in Islam teachings to the killing of homosexuals is of dubious origin!
What a laugh!
Every "religious" book is of dubious origin! Very dubious, indeed!
Take the teachings of Muhammud. Every Christian is bound - by the teachings of the bible - to view Muhammud as a "false prophet"!
Likewise, Muslims don't believe Jesus was the son of god!
Dubious, dubious, DUBIOUS!


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 10:27 AM

So tell me, Tunesmith, why are Christians bound to view Muhammad as a "false prophet"? And why can't even a "false prophet" have wisdom to impart? Millions of people have followed his teachings for well over a thousand years. Guess there must be something to what he has to say, huh? If nothing else, reading the Holy Qur'an with an open mind can help us understand and respect a huge portion of the world's population. I've read parts of it, particularly those parts that are purported to require violence - to see the Qur'an as a call to violence, takes a fundamentalist point of view.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 10:43 AM

Ah, former enemies getting in bed together!
I think we have them on the run!


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 11:02 AM

""Take the teachings of Muhammud. Every Christian is bound - by the teachings of the bible - to view Muhammud as a "false prophet"!
Likewise, Muslims don't believe Jesus was the son of god!
""

You've put your finger, inadvertently, I'm sure, on one of the most important differences betwen Christianity and Islam.

Islam does not regard Jesus as the Son of God, but it does regard him as a genuine prophet. By the same token, it does not portray Muhammed as a divine being, but simply as a prophet.

Islam is not institutionally inimical to Christianity, referring to Christians as ""People of the book"""".

The pity of it is that the reverse is not true. Christianity is inherently anti Islam and a large proportion of the history of Islam is one of pesecution by Christians.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: DMcG
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 12:00 PM

So, for you, there's a conflict of truth & honesty?

Sometimes, not always. A lot of people think telling a lie is the opposite of telling the truth - indeed there's a UK TV show that makes that assumption. But, as I think it was Aquinas averred, a lie is the intention to deceive, and therefore not strictly dependent on whether what is said is true or false. Hence the famous statement that a minister was being 'economical with the truth' is lying, since the intent was to deceive. Similarly, if I ring you up and say one of your loved ones is in hospital after an accident, and I am intending to deceive you, I am lying, even if, unbeknown to me it happens to be true.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 02:09 PM

Don ~~ We all know about Abraham & Moses & Jesus being revered prophets to Islam, and the Jews & Christians being fellow "People of the Book". So I wonder why actual Muslim practice has always run so counter to what would appear to be the actual and intended implications of these particular teachings of the Prophet? Or why the Prophet so emphatically enjoined the destruction of these People elsewhere in his works?...

As a BTW: inconsistencies in the Judeo-Christian Bible & other holy books can be written off as due to multiple authorship over an extended period. That won't do as a theory with regard to Islamic teachings, will it? It is all the Prophet's work, eh?

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 05:05 PM

ok ed- my contention is not that atheists are usually, or of necessity , liars , or immoral, dishonest, or anything else that might be considered "wrong", but that they have no ultimate authority for doing the "right" thing.
if there is no ultimate lawgiver, who is to say what is right and wrong?.
musket has freely admitted lieing to a school to gain an admission ,and why should he not?. he only has to justify it to himself, if no one calls him to account. that indeed was the context of my previous post.

neither am I claiming that as Christians we always do the right thing, but we do know who we are ultimately accountable to.


joe- I am sure that you know that a number of harmonies of the gospels have been written. i have one called "the life of Christ in stereo" had all 4 been too closely aligned , critics would be crying collusion .
this is not to say that there are not writing conventions of the time that selected material for teaching purposes- the 3+14 geneologies of matthew come to mind- and such things may appear contradictory to the modern western critic.
but how about responses to my questions?
is there any reason, apart from a-priori assumptions, why God should not get the first day off without creating the sun first.
He after all is the source of light and life, not the sun, which he would create, and some ancients erroneously credited as a god.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Ed T
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 05:43 PM

Pete, I suspect the concept of right oe wrong is instilled in all of us as children, by our parents, siblings,friends, school and community. Institutions like religion may have been a factor in many cases in earlier years- but less so in the west more recently.

Personally, I do not see a reasonable relationship between a belief in religion, a lack of on and "doing the right thing" (whatever that is defined as being in various situations.I hardly think using an example of one person on mudcat is a good or reliable sample to base a conclusion on.

I would like to see some evidence (research) to back up your statement?Or, is it only "a hunch" from the position you sit?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket evolving slowly
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 08:15 PM

Ok. Here's the deal pete. I have never lied to a school to get my children in and I have repeatedly said I support those that do. You read that as I had done that dastardly evil deed myself.

Are you genuinely mistaken or are you now lying in order to make your argument more convincing?

If you use your Bible as a guide to your moral outlook then your morality must be as variable as anybody else's, considering the inconsistent nature of the tales contained in it.

Meanwhile, we rational people must be raving hedonists with no anchor for our boats eh?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 05:10 AM

Actually there is a lot of experimental research being done on honesty and other aspects of social behaviour. I read about such experiments done in Vienna; one of the results was that those testees who anonymously stated that they were church members behaved slightly more honestly in the test than the others, on average.

As I wrote before, the relation between ethics and religion is much more complex than Pete and others may think. Another misconception, suggested by the thread title, is that religion is about distinct religions that come from "founders". A question "Language, which is the best one?" would be similarly unreasonable.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 05:30 AM

First posted onthe miltant Atheist thread, but apposite in relation to this one also:-

""Subject: RE: BS: Militant atheism has become a religion p
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T - PM
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 05:06 AM

""musket- of course the atheist can have morality without a law book , but what is his ultimate authority , and what is to stop that morality being variable?""

I do hate to see anyone entering into serious debate without even the most basic equipment.

All morality is variable Pete. It always has been and it always will be.

Morality is definable as what a society finds acceptable in the circumstances pertaining at any given time.

We used to consider it morally acceptable to marry girls as young as twelve years old, in ceremonies presided over by Christian priests. Now we don't!

We used to consider it morally acceptable to hang criminals for a whole variety of crimes, with a priest in attendance. Now we don't!

In other countries both practises are still considered moraly acceptable.

And the clincher......We used to consider it morally acceptable (in fact, a moral imperative) to send armies out to other countries for the express purpose of murdering non Christians.

NOW WE DON'T!

The most important point about this is that all these activities were considered morally acceptable, not just by God fosaken Atheists, but by Christians also, many of whom were excessively enthusiastic about the third example.

So don't keep trying, in your customary disingenuous fashion, to claim a moral high ground for the religious, which simply does not exist.
""

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 06:03 AM

"So don't keep trying, in your customary disingenuous fashion, to claim a moral high ground for the religious, which simply does not exist."

Correct Don. The religious, in general, are no more 'moral' than the non-religious, IME.

So why do the aetheists constantly find it necessary to insult and belittle the religious - "Your invisible friend", "We rational people", "Reject such mental aberrations", et al. It may surprise some of our resident religion-slaggers to learn that the majority of people of faith are perfectly mentally stable, have had very successful and well paid careers, and some are even good guitar-players and singers (much better than some of the rabid aetheists I've come into contact with!) :-)

Beliefs that differ from one's own do not a lunatic make.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket evolving slowly
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 07:34 AM

Not "the atheists" Backwoodsman, just me. And I'm not even an atheist. I'm the one who keeps saying imaginary friend if you check. I'm the one who uses the term rational as opposed to religious.

You will also note I dismiss religion as superstition.

Yet I'm not an atheist.

Rather strange? Only to those whose comfort blanket (you missed that one) is blocking their ears and eyes.

No matter what nice things you can say about religion, it isn't rational to apply ancient stories to physically describe either gaps or alternatives to science. As the god concept is to use your imagination and find comfort in that, imaginary friend isn't such a big deal.

But atheist is a word cooked up by religious people as a term of contempt for rational people. It means without theological belonging. It means you are not a member of the club.

Well, I've been thrown out of far nicer clubs, far more respectable ones and certainly far more exclusive ones. Most of them don't allow you in wearing jeans. The religious clubs prefer you if you are desperate or vulnerable if you notice.

I believe the term to be salvation.

Apparently, shaking your head smiling at our pious friends is militant atheism.

No. Militant atheism requires a few timber poles, cross members, ladders and hammer and nails. I just prefer to marvel at sanctimonious hypocrisy. Nobody gets hurt.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Ed T
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 07:52 AM

"Church members" is an an odd term for a research study to use? I wonder what they determined it to be?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 08:20 AM

Ed, in Austria (and in other countries), churches have formal membership structures - was that the question? The testees had filled in a form, also asking for income etc. Since it was all anonymous, some may have lied, but could not possibly have had any advantage from it.

As I wrote, a lot of experimental research is going on. I cannot claim to be an expert, but I have the strong impression that most of the commonly held ideas about moral behaviour have been falsified experimentally. It starts with the question "What is moral behaviour?" Most of us tend to give an easy answer, but the harder we think about it, the less we "know". The Bible or Kant or other classical moralists are not specific enough by far for, say, a "Martian" to understand it properly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Lighter
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 08:36 AM

As everyone knows, the "best" religion is the one that best accords with their understanding of the world besides giving them the best deal when they're dead. Within those reasoned parameters, of course.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Ed T
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 09:11 AM

I suspect that there are so many confounding factors, unless research was carefully structured by an unbiased source, it would not mean much- but reinforce people with an unrerlated agenda. For example. I have experienced very honest Buddhist people and it is not defined by many as a religion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 10:43 AM

And the clincher......We used to consider it morally acceptable (in fact, a moral imperative) to send armies out to other countries for the express purpose of murdering non Christians.

Not true.
Are you thinking of the Crusades.
Mores were quite different in Medieval times, and it is not at all fair to call them "we."
And even so, "murdering non Christians" was never an objective.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 10:52 AM

Ed, I heard about the study on radio (I think BBC), and it was referred to as university research on human behaviour. I suspect you misinterpret the point I mentioned, and the ideas behind my message. The emphasis is on the word slightly, so we may conclude that religion has something to do with honesty in daily behaviour, but much less and less directly than many think.

Buddhism is definitely a religion in Pete's sense of postulating a supernatural instance of responsibility. I do not know whether any of the few Austrian Buddhists were included in that research, which had quite a different purpose from testing religions. I would take the onus of searching for traces on the Internet if I had any hope for a serious discussion here on BS.—

Speaking of honesty: when Joe wrote To me, honesty is far more important than "truth.", he obviously meant a claim of truth by a religious doctrine. The word "truth" has changed its meaning since the 16th century, and should now only be used in contexts like criminal investigations. Joe's statements also seem to imply that he, like myself, denies religion any say on the results of science.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Ed T
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 11:29 AM

""Ed, in Austria (and in other countries), churches have formal membership structures - was that the question? The testees had filled in a form, also asking for income etc. Since it was all anonymous, some may have lied, but could not possibly have had any advantage from it.""

Grishka:
No, that was not my point - it was more that that church membership (or attending church services) has less to do with determining a religious belief today, than it did in earlier years. This relates to pete-7*s earlier claim that there is a direct relationship between a tendency to lie - among those with a belief in a god versus those no such belief.

In the country I live in and the church I attended as a child, there was a registry used mostly for church income generation purposes. What you gave was published each year. Most of the rich families, who could afford large donations were eager to have their names posted. The majority of the low income people rarely wanted to see their smaller donations listed. (BTW, the church also sold pews at the front of the church, where the more well-to-do folks proudly sat - my family were contented to stand at the back, with the less deserving folks. My family could have paid to buy a front seat. But, my parents found the practice excessive and offensive).


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 11:44 AM

Musket, you flatter yourself if you believe the "imaginary friend" taunt is your personal possession - over the years there have been many who have used it on here, check out all the old threads.

I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with anyone else's beliefs, and I feel no need to insult or belittle those whose beliefs are different to mine. It's a big old world, and there's plenty of room for all viewpoints, AFAIC.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Ed T
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 11:58 AM

A good perspective Backwoodsman.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 12:23 PM

yes musket, it was a genuine mistake and I apologize for not going back over the posts to check.

ed- I would say that the source of ones morality - influences in childhood - is not quite the same as the logical reasoning as to why to choose a moral path.
my thinking is that because we are all made in Gods image , there is a sense of morality , generally. in all people ,regardless of their affirmation or dismissal of God.
the atheist will of course reject such a concept, but can they logically anchor their morality on anything other than prior conditioning?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 01:48 PM

totally agree, ed, with your families estimation of the church they attended. I wonder what they did with james 2 v 1-9 if it was preached.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 02:48 PM

Ed, I do not understand what you want to arguing for, but your arguments may actually support the very opposite. Think of it.

Pete, now you are much closer to the nature of morality than you were before. Notice the difference?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Ed T
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 07:04 PM

Sorry Grishka that you perceive I am "arguing" in some way (possibly,with you). For the first time. I am puzzled by the content one of your posts, that normally seem well thought out, clear and to the point.

Let me be clear:

As to my statements to pete, if that what you refer to - I was protesting his characterization of a group of people - that seemed "off the mark.

If it was my statements to your reference to "church members" and morality issues, I clearly stated that there are too many "confounding" issues to accept one piece of research (that you referred to) at face value.

My last post was mostly a piece of personal reflection (a story, if you will) and hardly was representative of a broad experience in many global societies.

Regardless, I believe I made my objection-point to pete - which he seemed to somewhat clarify (in a manner). So, that matter is in the past, with me, anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 07:24 PM

""So why do the aetheists constantly find it necessary to insult and belittle the religious - "Your invisible friend", "We rational people", "Reject such mental aberrations",""

Are you saying, BW, that anyone who is being repeatedly attacked is not permitted to defend himself?

Because that is the situation here.

All but one of the recent threads has been started to attack non believers (I don't like the term Atheist, because it has been coined and used as a pejorative).

Only one has been started by a non believer.

If you are insulted, lied about and denigrated, are you not justified in returning like for like to those responsible?

You may choose not to do so, but if you do return insult for insult, surely the offender is the attacker, not the responder.

I am, though emphatically not a follower of any orghanised religion, not an Atheist.

I think that recent threads attacking Atheists are despicable and unjustifiable.

I have the greatest respect for those, like Joe Offer, who believe without proselytising. I have none for those who start an argument so that they may claim to be victimised by responses.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket evolving slowly
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 09:12 PM

Of course I flatter myself Backwoodsman. No bugger else around here is going to. .

Back to the op etc. Whilst it is difficult to say which is the best religion, many of our contributors are showing us why Christianity isn't on any shortlist. With the exception of Joe Offer, who for his sins may be a good advert but Catholicism in general certainly isn't, the attack mode employed to ridicule anybody, even those being serious, who dares to challenge the moral authority of their cult is brutal, ugly and ultimately disturbing.

Don points out the difference between starting and responding. There is a third section. Prodding with a stick to get a reaction. Interestingly, I don't seem to have the monopoly on that approach.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 02:51 AM

Don, I agree.

But, ignoring the threads you mention which are comparatively recent and, as you say, appear to have been started as a deliberate wind-up (which I deplore - never let it be said that I'm not even-handed!), over the years there have been many 'religious' threads and my impression has long been that the anti-religionists (for want of a better term) are always straight in there with the sneering and insults, the childish "Invisible Friend" kind of stuff. That's the impression, maybe I'm wrong but that's long been the way it's seemed to me, and I just find it all so unnecessary. One guy believes in his God, another doesn't. Wuppy-fuckin'-Doo! Life's too short. Let's everyone cut out the insults and sneering, which are in fact counter-productive in that they stifle real, meaningful debate, and treat each other with respect. That's all I'm asking.

Personally, I choose not to discuss my own beliefs, nor to try to foist them on others. I believe what I believe for very good, and very real, personal reasons based on my own experiences. But I accept that others have different beliefs (and yes, I see non-belief in God as 'beliefs' too), and I'm happy to hear their views - whatever gives each of us comfort is good AFAIC. But I don't need to sneer and insult others for what they believe, and I'd prefer them not to sneer and insult me for my own beliefs.

What's wrong with that?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 02:57 AM

And, of course, we'll all find out The Truth, whatever it might be, in the end. By which time it'll be too late! :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 06:31 AM

Ed (05 Oct 13 - 07:04 PM), I was replying to the parts of your messages where you addressed me, about the experiment. Scientific experiments have no "face value", just their metal content. My own conclusion was that there is probably some correlation between religious faith and honesty, but it is very probably far weaker than Pete claimed before his post of 05 Oct 13 - 12:23 PM.

Certainly religious belief and (self-declared) church membership are distinct notions, and have always been so. Still, we can reasonably assume that they correlate strongly. It is of course possible that the honesty correlation stems from other aspects of church membership, but I do not see any plausible ones.

Note that a correlation, particularly a weak one, does not imply a causality. Honest believers are not necessarily honest because they are believers. In my opinion, as I wrote on another thread, someone who does good for the sole reason of being rewarded in Heaven, will go to Hell for selfishness.

It looks as if Pete has changed his opinion dramatically, possibly without being aware of it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Ed T
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 09:11 AM

Griska


You may have your opinion, personal observation or "gut feeling"
, Mixng those with a research reporte of questionalble quality to put forward a conclusing is problematic IMO.

Like I said a few times, there are so many confounding issues related to that research, that church membership has any direct relationship to morality (telling lies) that it seems unreasonable to me that any weight should be placed on the result- especially when the recorded difference is marginal (as you seemed to indicate).

A list of of "church members" could vary greatly from the spectrum of types of people attending, as it is not clear about the specifics of such lists. Fewer people are attending christian churches on a regular basis (I am not sure if this is the case with all religions). So, the corelation between church membership, and those who believe in religion (it cannot be assumed beople do not believe any longer) is certainly changing. It is logical to speculate that the impact of the church and religion influenced morality (if it is accepted, for this purpose to be a factor) could be possibly changing with less attendance - even though these folks could still be listed as members


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 09:33 AM

The Friday night trad session at The Press Room...and it has BEER.

I don't have a God problem, but I DO have a serious problem with organized religion...ALL organized religions no matter what flavor. (I probably have the least problem with Quakers, Society of Friends.)

I'm well schooled not only in the Lutheran Christian tradition of my youth, but I've studied comparative religions. My beliefs are probably very different than anyone else's, but, as I've said, I don't have a God problem and my beliefs are a matter only between Him/Her/It and myself.

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 10:25 AM

Ed, I reserve the right to mix whatever I choose, if I do not sell the result falsely labeled. Also, "we can reasonably assume" is something different from "I have the gut feeling" - the former leaves it to the reader to judge about the reasonableness of the assumption.

The rest of your message is once again incomprehensible to me. Note that I never mentioned church attendance. Note also that in Austria, church membership implies the payment of a fixed proportion of one's income, supervised by the state's financial authorities.

I do not place any weight on that research, I just mentioned it - no particular "agenda" implied beyond what I wrote.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Ed T
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 10:56 AM

, ""I reserve the right to mix whatever I choose, if I do not sell the result falsely labeled"

Grishka
Of course you do, as does everyone else. I in no way am impeding your "free choice- I understood it was a discussion (maybe I was wrong)?

However, if you post material about research in a discussion - it is reasonable for anyone to weigh the validity of the research and what it may or may not mean to the discussion. If you no not welcome such scrutiny-discussion just state it and I suspect many (including me) will avoid comment. I did not say you "falsely labeled" anything - I merely feel (my perspective) that there are far too many variables and unknowns (aka confounding factors) to take base much on the research. IMO, there is plenty of "research" conducted - some for a specific purpose, some poorly structured and conducted, some of low resolution, and even some that is biased - to accept results broadly or blindly on a broad issue. But, that does not preclude discussion.


""The rest of your message is once again incomprehensible to me"

That is clearly obvious. Regardless, you are free to ignore what you do not comprehend, or you can (if you wish) ask me a focused and specific question - again it's your your choice to do so, or not). BTW, (if you care) my reference to other issues was related to some of the "confounding" factors associated with to using "church membership" (you brought that up, not me) to select from in social morality and religion related research.


Anyway, it seems like our communication (note, it is not not argument in my assessment, but a discussion) has "gone south". Maybe there is no point in further discussion on it - if it is frustrating (or incomprehensible to you, as you seem to be stating - again, your choice to continue it, or drop it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Ed T
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 11:37 AM

pete,7*s

An interesting thought related to lies, religion and the lack of religious beliefs.(Note that I raise this thought as, IMO, it relates to your earlier premise about values (lies), followers of religion and Atheists).

Joe Offer has stated in a number of threads that many RC's ignore many aspects of the RC church, those which they have disagreement.

So, if one belongs to a church, is it not a morality-related issue when one "picks and chooses" and ignores important aspects you agree/disagree with?

I am not saying these folks are "telling lies" - "but". I suspect making a mistake one time is one thing which RC "confession" could fix. But, making it on a regular basis as part of your life (by rejecting it totally) seems to be "sketchy morality" (IMO).

For example, rejection of "the pope's clear direction" to not use birth control seems (to me)like rejecting a core aspect of the RC church. However, "if many" RC's choose to ignore it, and use birth control (against a directive) - does this place these believers on a higher moral order than those who have no religious beliefs? Ignoring directions of the head of this church "the Pope" (which this religion seems to closely links to God) seems like a perplexing moral issue to me.

Don't get me wrong, I am not disrespecting the choice of RC's to ignore (or reason away) anything they wish about the RC church. However, this seems to go against your earlier statement about religious folks, lies (related to morality) and those who say they have no religious beliefs. Just putting this forward for your consideration.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 12:44 PM

Ed (06 Oct 13 - 10:56 AM), as far as I am concerned, you are absolutely entitled to discuss my statements. Unfortunately I do not understand what exactly you are criticizing, such as "I doubt that research result" or "that result is about church membership, I doubt that it can be inferred to religious belief" or "It suggests a causality I do not subscribe to". I will not fail to answer, though I cannot add much to what I already wrote.

If I find a report by googling, I will post a link. My first try was not successful, but I found many other experimental studies about moral behaviour and religion. The science is called "experimental social psychology", and its established university community is particularly wary of any kind of ideological predisposition. This means that a researcher who catches a colleague with such predispositions will be hailed by the community.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Ed T
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 01:26 PM

Yes Griska, please post the research. Since my questions (that seems logical and related, to me) seems to confuse you, maybe a discussion about an actual research project would improve the discussion, versus a vague refrence to research findings.

I did a Google search on related research and mostly found church-sponsored (marketing-type) research of questionable quality. While I do not rule out the potential of such research, I treat it with suspect, as I would most industry sponsored marketing research (like with the tobacco industry, for example, who often contracts universities to conduct research of questionable quality).It seems reasonable to subject such research to a more more rigourous review than unbiased (if such a creature exists) peer reviewed scientific research.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 02:20 PM

Ed, if I now understand you correctly, you actually doubt the validity of the study I mentioned. My hope to find it on the Internet is not very high, but I just read many research articles that are obviously not sponsored by religious organizations. Try googling
"experimental social psychology" honesty religion


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Ed T
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 03:17 PM

Griska:

OK I will try to find the referenced research on the internet, through your link.


As to your last posted question to me - all I am saying is:
No offense to you, or anyone else, but, I prefer to assess. The quality and findings of research "through my own lenses" rather than what someone else tells me it says or the quality of the research.It is much like the legal "rule of evidence" regarding the value of heresay evidence versus what you see for yourself.Please do not "read anything" more into it than that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 03:32 PM

No problem, Ed. You will doubtless find a lot of interesting reading, even if not the exact project I mentioned. Social sciences have a lot more to offer than what most people think they know and understand. Of course you can criticize methods and suspect manipulation.

Whenever I find some result really important, I check for critical reviews.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Ed T
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 04:01 PM

Grishka, I do find social science interesting, which is one reason I ask many related questions.

And, I do recognize the value of the social sciences (versus marketing, disgiused as social science) as I have an educational background that includes this field of science (while it was awhile ago, I expect research methods remain the same), So, I look forward to reviewing related material.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 05:53 PM

ed - I don't know that I should venture too much re RC church, as I am not RC ,though I would hope that all Christians are following Jesus more than any pope or other earthly leader.
I don't see an issue with birth control biblically but if someone does see it as being sinful from their biblical understanding then that would be a problem to them, perhaps.
I don't see ignoring church directives as sinful if not directly biblical but I am probably not qualified to be definite on RC teaching.
therefore I would not feel sure about that in comparison to , what seems to me, to be more obviously sinful.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Rapparee
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 06:05 PM

I've been ignoring this thread because MY religion is the best and only true one. So there, that settles it.

Now...I have a minor in both theology and philosophy due to an education in Roman Catholic schools that covers kindergarten through my undergraduate degree. I worked 40+ years as a librarian, and I do have some knowledge of social science as well as statistics and some other bits of math (game theory, modeling, etc.).

I have noticed, and various studies agree, that in general Catholics do not march in lockstep with each other much less those in the Vatican. Vatican II -- the Second Vatican Council -- stated that the Church cannot prevent anyone from "sinning" (well, duh!), it can only provide moral guidance.

Pope Francis recently said much the same thing: stop being so scrupulous about things (being scrupulous is not a good thing for Catholics) like gay marriage and abortion and get out and actually WORK with the poor and disenfranchised of the world. The Church has made its position clear on these over and over, so if you are unaware of it it's your own fault.

I also like the work he's been doing cleaning out the cobwebs in the Vatican -- last year the late Archbishop of Milan stated flatly that the Catholic church is "at least 200 years behind the times."


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Ed T
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 06:26 PM

Pete, I won't let you off so easily. I wasn't really talking about anyone comitting a sin, or not. It more so related to whether folks who believe in a god are more honest as those without a belief in a god. To test your statement that they were, I used an example of the RC church ()ou did not qualify any specific religion). So, if you are not honest to the dictates of your religion (and god), is it more likely that you are more honest in life than those with no religious comittment? Just a test of your theory (which makes little sense to me).It does not take intimate knowledge of the RC church to see your theory may not hold water (based on your earlier reasoning).


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket evolving slowly
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 09:54 PM

So. ... let's get this straight. Everybody to interpret the Bible to their own view and use that as their moral compass.

Ok pete. I genuinely support that notion. Or at least I support the right of Christians to pick and choose, especially the bit about putting the directives of a person below the directives of the Jesus hypothesis.

But a couple of things spring to mind. Can you therefore be a Christian if you cannot read?   Can a child be considered a Christian before being able to make informed decisions after all? (My beef in general. )

When you consider that the only reason Christianity survived through the middle ages was that the Bible was written in a language only the clergy could read and successive kings used religion to prop up their claim to be the rightful ruler, it seems to me that pete is actually ahead of the game.

Evolving even?

Just a thought.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Rapparee
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 11:34 AM

Weell, Musket, that's not exactly true. John Wycliffe translated the Bible into English in the late 14th Century. There had been earlier attempts. These WERE put down by Rome, and Wycliffe's body was eventually disinterred and burned for being a bad little boy. Never the less, his work had already been disseminated.

Remember that the originals were written in the vernacular -- Latin was spoken by many, as was Greek and Aramaic. There were also all of those scriptures in the Eastern and Coptic Churches; only now are scholars discovering what the Copts actually have preserved...and we'd be on even ground with the "Orthodox" churches if not for the "filioque" dispute way, way back when.

And you came flat up against the non-canonical books of the Bible, like the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of the Magdalene and all of that stuff in the Nag Hamadi library and the Dead Sea Scrolls and who know what else might be out there?

Illiteracy was not as common in the Dark and Middle Ages as has been presumed. Yes, the peasants and serfs usually were illiterate, but the merchant class HAD to know how to read invoices, letters, and accounts -- to say the least.

Personally, I don't much like the structure imposed on the Western Church because it's based upon the model of the Roman Empire. I much, much prefer that of the Celtic Church, but that was chopped off (as much as it could be) by the Synod of Whitby and St. Augustine (of England, not the other one).


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 03:12 PM

ah, ed I think your last post clarifies better what you were asking.
I should have thought that , providing we are talking about the spiritual and moral guidance of the church , and not just the peripheral and ceremonial, that the church member would be more likely to be honest in life outside of church as well.
that would be my expectation, rather than an assertion.
it would also be my expectation that if a believer does not agree with all the teaching at the church he attends/affiliated with, that he would non-the -less be generally more honest.
but I acknowledge that in practise a non believer may be more honest than many believers despite not having a moral code that he could point to as absolute.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Ed T
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 04:03 PM

Thanks, Pete, the last post seems clear enough to me. I have a few curious supplementary (and related) questions, as the area interests me personally.

So, lets say a person leaves a church organization, would they retain the residual level of honesty (or some portion of it) from the association? Or, would it kinda evaporate with the lapse in the association?

What if they still retained a religious belief (we can use Christian for this example), but decided they did not wish to be associated with an organized religion. Would they retain the level of honesty obtained by their association with the organization?

Additionally, does it matter what the organized religion is (or, what Deity-God is involved), as it relates to honesty (such as Christian, Islam, Buddhism (maybe technically not a religion), Hinduism, Latter Day Saints, Judaism, Confucianism, Jehovah's Witness,Shintoism, Bahá'í, Sikhism ). Or, is this honesty more closely associated with one or more religions?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 10:08 PM

Ed T posted some interesting questions on 06 Oct 13 - 11:37 AM:
    Joe Offer has stated in a number of threads that many RC's ignore many aspects of the RC church, those which they have disagreement.
    So, if one belongs to a church, is it not a morality-related issue when one "picks and chooses" and ignores important aspects you agree/disagree with?


I think that the idea of "obedience to authority" in the Catholic Church has often been overstated, and sometimes understood as "obedience to the Pope." It has long been Catholic teaching that obedience to one's conscience takes precedence over any other authority. The Catholic Church is supposed to inform believers, who then must make the final decision regarding their own lives. At least in current times, official statements by the Catholic Church on moral issues, are rarely, if ever, stated in the form of commands - although the press and the right-wingers often reinterpret such statements in the form of absolute commands.

But how often is it that one must vow absolute obedience to the positions of any organization as a condition of membership? It really doesn't happen very often, so why should it be a requirement for membership in a church?

Right-wing Catholics use the term "cafeteria Catholic" to describe anyone who is not in absolute lockstep with their rigid view of Catholicism. And that term makes me go ballistic - especially since the name-callers often have a very limited understanding of the church policies they're accusing others of rejecting.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 10:52 PM

""But how often is it that one must vow absolute obedience to the positions of any organization as a condition of membership? It really doesn't happen very often, so why should it be a requirement for membership in a church?...believers,...must make the final decision regarding their own lives...official statements by the Catholic Church on moral issues, are rarely, if ever, stated in the form of commands.""

I actually have no issue with what you say, Joe Offer, as it all seems most reasonable and is likely the "way it is" for many RC folks (and also likely in other churches).

It also seems illogical (to me) that mere membership in any church, or even a belief in a religion, or Deity puts those members in a position of higher morality (though there are various definitions of that word). I doubt that, as a group, they lie any less or more than most any other group (depending on culture). It seems reasonable that most lies (recognizing that some may be more serious in nature) are seen as low on the "sin list scale" in most religions today. I recall that even Christian scriptures indicated situations where lies by the faithful are ok.

However, the points of my questions were mostly around Pete's statement ""it is hardly any surprise if an atheist lies ...they have no ultimate authority ,after all, do they.if Christians are liars they are inconsistent with their faith."" Since they were stated, I was seeking any evidence (from Pete, or anyone) that this statement is reasonable, or not. My initial feeling is it is not reasonable-but I am open to being swayed by a convincing case.


In my questions to pete, I only used the RC church example, as you had earlier made some statements to build on - not that I am singling out any one religion to "pick on".


Anyway, possibly this topic has been exhausted anyway, as I have not seen any good evidence to validate pete's (above) statement. However, I will check out the links Grishka provided, as it seems potentially interesting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Ed T
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 10:54 PM

""But how often is it that one must vow absolute obedience to the positions of any organization as a condition of membership? It really doesn't happen very often, so why should it be a requirement for membership in a church?...believers,...must make the final decision regarding their own lives...official statements by the Catholic Church on moral issues, are rarely, if ever, stated in the form of commands.""

I actually have no issue with what you say, Joe Offer, as it all seems most reasonable and is likely the "way it is" for many RC folks (and also likely in other churches).

It also seems illogical (to me) that mere membership in any church, or even a belief in a religion, or Deity puts those members in a position of higher morality (though there are various definitions of that word). I doubt that, as a group, they lie any less or more than most any other group (depending on culture). It seems reasonable that most lies (recognizing that some may be more serious in nature) are seen as low on the "sin list scale" in most religions today. I recall that even Christian scriptures indicated situations where lies by the faithful are ok.

However, the points of my questions were mostly around Pete's statement ""it is hardly any surprise if an atheist lies ...they have no ultimate authority ,after all, do they.if Christians are liars they are inconsistent with their faith."" Since they were stated, I was seeking any evidence (from Pete, or anyone) that this statement is reasonable, or not. My initial feeling is it is not reasonable-but I am open to being swayed by a convincing case.


In my questions to pete, I only used the RC church example, as you had earlier made some statements to build on - not that I am singling out any one religion to "pick on".


Anyway, possibly this topic has been exhausted anyway, as I have not seen any good evidence to validate pete's (above) statement. However, I will check out the links Grishka provided, as it seems potentially interesting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Donuel
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 10:59 PM

If you were an ancient Mayan or Aztec I could certainly see how the great Amazonian mushroom god would be the Best One.

The problem was that once religious leaders got involved it wasn't about the message of mushroom anymore but instead about the interpretation by the priests to wield deadly power.

PS The art and written language of the Aztec resembles the spontaneous visions induced by mushrooms to a remarkable degree to this day. Absent are the violent war practices and depictions of the AZTEC. That must be the priestly power trip part of their culture, just as the Christian Inquisition and holy wars are part of the European priestly power trip.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 11:51 PM

Ed sez: It also seems illogical (to me) that mere membership in any church, or even a belief in a religion, or Deity puts those members in a position of higher morality

Agreed




However, the points of my questions were mostly around Pete's statement ""it is hardly any surprise if an atheist lies ...they have no ultimate authority ,after all, do they.if Christians are liars they are inconsistent with their faith."" Since they were stated, I was seeking any evidence (from Pete, or anyone) that this statement is reasonable, or not. My initial feeling is it is not reasonable-but I am open to being swayed by a convincing case.

Before they reach a modicum of maturity, people do need some sort of moral guide to help them make moral decisions, including deciding whether or not to lie. Some people never reach that level of maturity, so they continue to require authority-based morality. I suppose a religious institution could function as a moral guide for the immature, but I think that loving parents are far more effective, no matter what their religious beliefs.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket evolving slowly
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 02:47 AM

You know, there are many people who had neither religion nor loving parents to guide them but might still be the sort to help little old ladies across the road.

To someone like me, who has to accommodate people's beliefs in planning aspects of public services, state provided healthcare in my part, I genuinely struggle when leaders, both appointed and sometimes self appointed say "all (insert religion) Need this because we believe that."   Yet we have Joe being offended when church elders get angry with picking and choosing, pete saying he can't tell the difference between The Archbishop of Canterbury and Dawkins and Keith saying CofE don't believe in the creation.

Makes me think it might be easier to accommodate nothing and see how many put their beliefs before their health. We take out less court orders than you think to give blood transfusions to children of Jehovas Witnesses. Amusingly, many adult patients sing a different song when we tell them it's their choice if they don't want one...

In the meantime, our lead chaplain and I are sorting out how to give pastoral care in the widest sense to the vast majority of our patients who want to talk to someone but would be distressed or angry at the idea of having god thrown at them. Ditto those of a different religion. A Muslim patient in the last survey told of the comfort he found from the chaplain he spoke with, who was Buddhist by the way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 02:57 AM

Keith saying CofE don't believe in the creation.
Happy to have educated you Musket.
Catholic and CofE schools teach evolution and cosmology, not creation in Science lessons.

That is not the case in some other faith schools.

(BTW what you described as "another faith school closed by inspectors" was unprecedented)


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket evolving slowly
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 05:14 AM

The one before the one you say was unprecedented was called Grindon Hall. Prior to Gove's new legislation freeing them from local authority control, the LEA closed it after inspecting it.

You twisted my words to assume only OFSTED inspections. Even you could have googled to find it. It isn't difficult.

I never said schools either when I pointed out your assertion that CofE aren't into creationism. Our discussion wasn't about schools, it was about the Creed and ethos of Christian cults.

You know, the more you try to ridicule others to look clever, the bigger arse you appear. Is it that important to make anybody who questions your cult look an idiot? It's not as if you manage it in the first place.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Ed T
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 05:40 AM

I am often puzzled as to how different members of the same family, who seem to have similar upbringing, turn out so different, when it comes to adhering to moral norms.

It has also find it interesting how certain criminals, such as the maffia, can so proudly adhere to church attendance, when their lives seem to be in direct conflict with the church teachings. Possibly, they honestly seek forgiveness, but, maybe it is something else?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 05:41 AM

Another faith based school was shut down by inspectors in The UK yesterday I notice.

Such a closure by inspectors was unprecedented and we still do not have the reason for it.

I never said schools either when I pointed out your assertion that CofE aren't into creationism. Our discussion wasn't about schools, it was about the Creed and ethos of Christian cults.

Creationism is not in the creed or ethos of RC or CofE churches.
That is why they do not teach it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 05:55 AM

""The Catholic Church is supposed to inform believers, who then must make the final decision regarding their own lives.""

That would seem, Joe, to be a very convenient and effective get out clause, worthy of the most unscrupulous corporate interests, absolving the Catholic Church from any responsibility for the behaviour of its followers, from users of birth control right up to child abusing priests.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket evolving slowly
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 06:34 AM

The one before the one you say was unprecedented was called Grindon Hall. Prior to Gove's new legislation freeing them from local authority control, the LEA closed it after inspecting it.

You twisted my words to assume only OFSTED inspections. Even you could have googled to find it. It isn't difficult.

I never said schools either when I pointed out your assertion that CofE aren't into creationism. Our discussion wasn't about schools, it was about the Creed and ethos of Christian cults.

You know, the more you try to ridicule others to look clever, the bigger arse you appear. Is it that important to make anybody who questions your cult look an idiot? It's not as if you manage it in the first place.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 07:53 AM

Another faith based school was shut down by inspectors in The UK yesterday I notice.

Such a closure by inspectors was unprecedented, and we still do not know what was wrong. It has reopened.

Creationism is no part of the creed or ethos of the RC or C of E Churches.
That is why they do not teach it.

I really am not trying to make you look an idiot.
I am sure you would correct me too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 08:14 AM

by David Allison
Published on the
10 September
2013


HUNDREDS of pupils at Sunderland's first free school will start this year's term late after a £3million extension wasn't finished in time.

Bosses say that contractors have not delivered "a safe building or site" in time for the start of the new term at Grindon Hall Christian School, in Pennywell.

A 14-classroom primary school building is not yet completed, with a drive and one-way system leading up to the Nookside site yet to be done.

Senior children were to start back at Grindon Hall on Thursday, with primary school children originally due back next Monday.

Parents of more than 500 children who attend the school were told about the decision in a letter.

Pupils will now return on Monday, September 23.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 08:20 AM

A Muslim free school in Derby has been warned to stop favouring men and boys over women and girls or face closure.

The condition is one of several set out by Minister for Education Lord Nash in a letter to the chair of the Al-Madinah Education Trust.

The letter states changes must be made by the 15 October, including "compliance with equality legislation" or the school's funding will be pulled.

The school closed for a week citing "health and safety issues".

It closed on the first day of an Ofsted inspection but the headmaster insisted it was due to "a health and safety issue".

In a statement issued by Ofsted, to "clarify media reports" about why the school had closed, HM Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw said: "Inspectors discovered that staff records showing whether they were cleared to supervise children were either missing or incomplete.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 09:30 AM

In response to my statement that the Catholic Church is supposed to inform believers, who then must make the final decision regarding their own lives, Don(Wyziwyg)T says:

    That would seem, Joe, to be a very convenient and effective get out clause, worthy of the most unscrupulous corporate interests, absolving the Catholic Church from any responsibility for the behaviour of its followers, from users of birth control right up to child abusing priests.


C'mon, Don, what are you trying to say? To my mind, you're just not making sense. What I said, is how things actually work in real life. People DO make the final decisions regarding their own lives. Even if they happen to profess a religious belief, they are not puppets controlled by outside forces. Each individual has final responsibility and culpability for his own actions.

And yes, it has always been Catholic teaching that each individual has final responsibility and culpability for his own actions.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket evolving slowly
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 11:41 AM

And for those who have the sneaking suspicion Keith could have given Pravda a run for it's pre 1990 money for the selective quotes there, perhaps anyone interested in seeing if he is a liar or not may wish to Google the school together with creationism and read the results. The BBC is a good one as it normally has no axe to grind.

If you can be arsed enough to and you agree with him then I apologise for being a thick twat with no idea and I might as well buy a tambourine.

Keith. If you could email me a copy of the current CofE Bible I'd be grateful. The only one I could lay my hands on starts with "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. " perhaps the non creationist one may even replace my present bedtime reading?

Bill Brysons latest one about 1927 and planes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 02:49 PM

As Joe has told you, thinking Christians do not regard the bible as a Science textbook.

It really is not part of CofE or RC creed or ethos.
We accept cosmology and evolution.

Sorry to make an idiot of you again, but you ask for it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 03:15 PM

I can really only offer a few thoughts, ed ,from anecdotal evidence and would not claim that they would be validated statistically.
some people leave a church after an upset, or other personal reason but still retain their faith otherwise. it would be my expectation that their faith would continue to inform their morality.
those that leave their faith altogether sometimes do so in tamden with disobedience to biblical morality.
for any that lose their faith for intellectual reasons [I understand that Piltdown man fraud did some damage, for eg] I suspect morality may slide over time, but again that is not an assertion.
I don't think I could speak for other faiths, except to observe that many of them are tied to their culture and so perhaps MAY not be so deeply committed. of course the same can apply to Christian affiliation , and mafia may be a case in point.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket evolving slowly
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 08:01 PM

Ok. Idiot to idiot.

When you say "we" how many CofE Christians do you mean? All of them? All of them with your huge intellect? The boutique ones?

You wriggle out of corners with slippery ease but saying CofE congregation don't believe in God as the creator is wonderful. I do get to the occasional wedding, funeral and christening and I don't think the faithful reckon the vicar is coming out with tripe.

I don't think the vicar does either.

It's rather silly praying if you just use an old book to guide your thoughts. Who are you praying to? And why?

Perhaps you might ask The Archbishop of Canterbury for advice here, as your waffle falls at the first hurdle. Doesn't even get past the first sentence of the book you base your cult on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 09:50 PM

Yes, Musket, all Bibles name God as creator.

Next question?

Almost all Christians, Jews, and Muslims believe in God as creator. How God created, is another question. Moderate to progressive religious people generally think that God created through the wonderful, natural, miraculous process we call evolution - that God was somehow part of that process. I believe that God is in the essence of everything I encounter, the unseen spiritual side of everything that is. And being a Christian, I believe that somehow, that unseen God is fully embodied in Jesus Christ - and partly embodied in all we encounter. Many Christians call that the mystery of the incarnation.

Progressive Christians won't fight about that, and generally won't proselytize - and they don't want this taught in tax-paid schools (I suppose that's different in the UK, since at least some religious schools are supported by taxes). Nonetheless, it is meaningful and sacred to them.

If you want to fight about it, then you'll have to go to the fundamentalists. They'll give you a run for your money.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 09 Oct 13 - 01:13 AM

The Archbishop will tell you that he believes in evolution and the big bang, and so will any vicar.
You misjudge us Musket.
You speak from profound ignorance.
You make yourself an idiot without help from me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 09 Oct 13 - 02:47 AM

To deal with another of your misconceptions, what you described as the "closure by inspectors of another faith school" was in fact the unprecedented closure by inspectors of the al Madinah school.
It is also unprecedented that the school has been told its funding will be withdrawn unless it sacks the head, complies with equality laws and improves its education.

What you put up as a precedent was a school that was not closed at all.
It was just late opening because building work over ran.

If you entered into discussion instead of attack mode, you could become informed without making an idiot of yourself.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket evolving slowly
Date: 09 Oct 13 - 04:33 AM

No. I don't misunderstand at all.

The chair of my viva panel was a lay preacher yet he dug deep into my basis for certain laws of physics. I see no problem with traditional faith and reality. I love how you think I do.

I'll tell you what I don't understand. I don't understand church wanting any influence over society. If you can pick and choose then so can others. I wanted to choose a church wedding and as the common link of everybody on Mudcat.org is tradition, you can understand why. I refused to ask forgiveness for my sins and I had been married before. So what? I said. Something to do with the Bible apparently. My granddaughter is about ready for that family get together known as a christening. All the older family expect it. My lad and his wife don't attend the local church so they had to attend a set of classes where they can learn to be good parents in the eyes of the church. He didn't want to do that as he was brought up not to be a hypocrit. Looks like no christening then.

Haven't told him his mother and I had to attend them so we did. Decided it was all bollocks but didn't want to upset my Gran.

My point therefore is; Don't talk about picking and choosing then decry people for trying the same.   The vast majority of church weddings and christenings? Not a bloody believer amongst them. However, we have tradition. Many people want a church setting, a bit of Charles Wesley and a few bob for the bell ringers.

But only clever Christians like Joe and Keith are good enough to pick and choose it seems. Rational people who enjoy the traditional public service churches supply have to tell lies in order to do so.

Joe. You asked me to talk to the fundamentalists? Fine. Their honesty will be a breath of fresh air.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 Oct 13 - 04:55 AM

Well, I see a lot of argument about the follies of Xtianity - without even getting into the sexism it seems of so many of its cult members, but pretty well bugger all other discussion of other religions.

I tend to disapprove of most organised religions, but might like to learn more about Buddhism, Shinto, or Confucianism, not to mention western paganism (excluding simple Buffyism).

I think I am right that the oldest religion (of those widely followed) in the world is IFA, a Yoruba religion, but what I have found while looking about it is some concentration on its structure, but little of its commandments. It seems difficult to give it much credibility given its apparent ageism and sexism with regard to allegedly evil witches, and its apparent belief in the existence of (but hostility to) allegedly evil sorcerers. One IFA adherent I know asserts that the Xtian trilogy belief is based on a misunderstanding or distortion of IFA.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 09 Oct 13 - 05:09 AM

I was married in church a few weeks ago.
We are both divorcees.

CofE says this.

Baptism


Everyone is welcome to have a baptism at a christening service in their parish church. There are around 10, 000 babies and children baptized in the Church of England every month. Every service is a time of joyful celebration and thanksgiving.

During the christening service your baby will be baptized. Your child is precious to you and precious to God. At baptism you make a decision to start your child on a journey of faith. The church and the Godparents support the family and the child in this decision.
Read more about Baptism

Weddings

Bride and Groom marriage blessing

Today more than a quarter of all marriages in England take place before God in the traditional setting of a Church of England church. You're welcome to marry in church whatever your beliefs, whether or not you are baptised and whether or not you go to church.
Read more about Weddings
http://www.churchofengland.org/weddings-baptisms-funerals.aspx


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket evolving slowly
Date: 09 Oct 13 - 05:34 AM

In which case, Guildford Cathedral isn't a CofE church as they refused to let us marry despite my mother in law being one of their congregation and my wife being of that parish.

Worksop Priory Church will not baptise my granddaughter unless my son and his wife lie about their lack of belief. The same church heard me say whatever was needed to get my son christened almost 30 years ago.

Some will some won't. Simple.

This is what you get with boutique religion. Some vicars actually believe it all. Fine. But they put their interpretation above their managers and policies.

That's what is wrong.

Again. Picking and choosing what bits of your Bible you feel least embarrassed about? Fine but don't expect respect for it. Don't expect normal people to say, you know what? We should let their leaders influence law still. We should allow objections to Sunday events on religious grounds. We should agree to restrict commerce so as not to upset the buggers.

By the way. I forwarded a paper copy of the above to Southwell Diocese with my complaint and they pointed to the overall clause "at the discretion of the vicar. "

Hypocritical twats. Yet they bend over to accommodate bigots who won't be managed by a woman or those who see gay marriage as obscene.

Keep chiselling for relevance. It's too late. Education has evolved. Normal people see no reason to keep pretending. Younger people never did. Still, if you catch them young enough, impressionable enough or vulnerable enough, you still might have enough to pay for the electric. ..


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 09 Oct 13 - 06:05 PM

I remember reading a prayer letter from CMI which mentioned a vicar hosting a creation event ,and conceding that this was brave of him given the general unbelief of the biblical account among Anglican clerics.
it is not true that all catholics accept evolutionism. there is in fact a catholic creationist movement [Kolbe institute, I think].
the pope may compromise the bible personally but I understand that compromised position is not mandatory teaching. I,m sure joe will tell us if i'm wrong.
musket, as does dawkins, can see the inconsistency of compromising the scriptures.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Oct 13 - 11:41 PM

Well, Musket -

The Romans see baptism as the sacrament of initiation into membership in the church. If the parents have no intention to raise the child Catholic, most parishes will refuse to baptize the child. They view receiving a sacrament with no religious intent, as hypocrisy. I agree.

Musket sez: But only clever Christians like Joe and Keith are good enough to pick and choose it seems. Rational people who enjoy the traditional public service churches supply have to tell lies in order to do so.

Nobody's forcing you to tell lies - you should just forgo the ritual if you don't believe in it, and don't expect the church to perform a ritual for you if it means nothing to you.

As for picking and choosing beliefs, uniformity of belief is not as important to Catholics, as it may be to some others. The basic Catholic belief is the Nicene Creed, and almost all Catholics accept the Creed without question (but with various interpretations) - almost everything else is open to discussion and to a variety of perspectives, just like in real life. Right-wing Catholics have their religious litmus tests and rant on about how so-and-so isn't really Catholic, but the official position is far more open to a much broader variety of opinions. On the other hand, churches take their religious rituals seriously, as expressions of faith. People who want to receive such rituals, can rightly be expected to express some modicum of faith.

Pete, there is no required Catholic belief about the origin of the world. Catholics are free to take a literalist view of the biblical story of creation. Some do, but most American and European Catholics think creation took place by evolution - and evolution is what is usually taught in Catholic schools.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 12:23 AM

I'm not finished yet, Musket. You pushed one of my hot buttons. Although it may seem important to you, many churches (including the Catholic Church) do not require uniformity of thinking as a requirement for membership. Outsiders and right-wingers may see this as a requirement, but it is not. What is required, is that diverse people join together in faith and in mutual respect as a community to worship God in ritual. And if you don't want to worship God, then you have no business demanding services of a church. It's up to the church to decide what services it wants to provide to non-members.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 01:34 AM

...and yet another thing, Musket - you cannot define my faith in fundamentalist terms, because I am not a fundamentalist. What is important to me, is my relationship with God, and the prayer and ritual and social justice action that go along with that. For the fundamentalist, what's most important is belief, adhering to certain doctrines. That's a bird of a different color.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Ed T
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 06:47 AM

Pete, a point related to your last post:

I believe there is a difference between the terms "Catholic" and Roman Catholic. Anglicans and some of the Orthodox religious groups consider themselves as Catholic, but do not accept the pope as the head of their church.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 10:35 AM

I don't know what the matter is with me. I have just posted on Christian Persecution in agreement with Jim Carroll; and now here I am agreeing with Joe on a matter, if not of religion, yet of the rights of the religious. Why should churches provide facilities for non-believers to show off? It seems to me the height of vile manners to lie to the authorities of a Church in order to persuade them to marry you, when the ritual means nothing to you but a bit of agreeable ostentation. People who do that should be ashamed, and I think the Church [any church] quite right to decline to provide facilities for what is nothing but a showy opportunity to wear tall hats and white lace for people to whom the actual faith-content of the ritual means nothing. I say again ~~ it's rude of them even to ask.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,ME
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 10:58 AM

I was devastated to find out my wife was having an affair; but, by turning to religion, I was soon able to come to terms with the whole thing. I converted to Islam, and we're stoning her in the morning!


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 11:07 AM

There are organizations that organize non-religious ceremonies, as "traditionally" as desired and possible, e.g. the BHA. However, many customers are dissatisfied and prefer a priest of however questionable intellectual and moral authority, and talent as a maître d'. The reason seems quite clear to me, but unfathomable to many "humanists" who are not interested in what humankind, including themselves, really is like.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 11:17 AM

No, Grishka, not in my case. I can well see the attraction; but I don't think it should be factitiously misused. I find that peculiarly insulting to those to whom it does have real meaning. The fact that 'humankind ... really is like' that doesn't make it OK IMO.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 11:50 AM

MtheGM, I was not making any kind of moral judgment. My point was simply that some self-styled humanists do not analyze their own needs correctly. I could write a lot more if asked, though my experience with you is that you do not really appreciate comprehensive answers ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 02:40 PM

and I believe you are quite right, ed.
the orthodox and anglo catholics adopt some RC ritual and belief not common to most protestants.
in addition the word "catholic" means universal, I believe ,and in that sense applies to all Christians.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: sciencegeek
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 03:56 PM

Joe, correct me if I'm wrong... but what I remember from Catholic school teachings was that God gave mankind free will - that double edged sword that gets us into all kinds of mischief.

Instead of studying the bible - new or old testament- we used the catechism. In my case it was write the question three times and the answer five for homework. If it had the imprematur, then it meant it was pope or cardinal approved for belief.

So we were taught what they thought was correct beliefs and behavior.. but it was still up to us to follow or not follow. And the need for confession was to wash away the sins we'd committed, since it was automatically presumed that we humans would sucumb to temptation. Simplified greatly, but still on track I think.

It was the mortal sins that had us scared silly... missing church or eating meat on Friday that meant a one way ticket to hell if we died before confessing & getting absolved. At least it scared me until I got a bit older and admitted to myself that it all seemed like superstition to me and not anything that brought comfort or enlightenment into my life. More of a royal pain in the ass that I wanted no part of anymore.

But back to RC who decide for themselves what to follow... I think that the acceptance of free will is important. I don't recall any of the gospels including the directives found in the catechism. This all came later and only the belief in papal infallability regarding church teachings gives them any validity. in the opinion of this atheist.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Ed small t
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 04:17 PM

A good logical point MtheGM.

A case in point:
I seem to recall that this is not required in Canadian law. For example, no minister or priest is required to marry a gay person,or make their facilities available for such a union, if it goes against their rights.

So, it only seems logical that Christian churches and rights should be limited to "the faithful" I doubt if in the USA that civil rights organizations are required to provide "equal access" to their sites or events to the KKK organization (or, vice versa).


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Ed T
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 05:19 PM

I am also confused sciencegeek,(if I take a bit of liberty to include you in that category).

I was raised on a RC diet - and attended all that is required - but I am (proudly) no longer an organized RC affiliate (but, darn, it is difficult to shake the RC upbringing. I have turned to a few similar groups for religious insight, which I enjoy. I suspect that I am not alone.

The "local interpretation" of what the RC church stands for is quite different, as defined by local differences and time, as the concept of the individual and the church is evolving. What Joe O describes, seems quite foreign to what I am told by local Rc's? Consistancy, maybe not?


I suspect that this leaves a lot of people confused, as to what this church actually stands for, including me?

Hopefully, the new leadership may make it clearer for "the wayward Christian flock" to feel comfortable returning. But,I suspect it is more likely not so.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: sciencegeek
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 07:02 PM

well, Ed... I only spent 8 years in Catholic school which ended in 1964,

so I have no clue what changes have occurred since they went from masses said in Latin to English. but they did make a big deal out of having free will. They have a different catechism now than I did, I think, as well.

I am an atheist because it is the outlook most compatible with me as a person. I expect that there are those who gravitate towards some kind of spiritual belief that works for them.

this thread topic is highly subjective and impossible to answer to the satisfaction of all. it assumes a definitive answer where none can exist.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Bill D
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 07:25 PM

Just found this:

"It is conceivable that religion may be morally useful without being intellectually sustainable.
John Stuart Mill


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 08:17 PM

Before Vatican II, Catholics did not study the Bible, so the idea developed that Catholics relied on a catechism instead of the Bible. But as I studied the Bible in later years, I learned that many, many things in that catechism came straight from the Bible, or from the Nicene Creed that is held by most Christians. There are a few Catholic beliefs not in the Bible or Nicene Creed, but very few and usually not central beliefs. Now, there is a vast amount of theology built upon the Bible and Creed, but that's explanation, not doctrine.

The current Catechism of the Catholic Church was published in 1992. A revised edition was published in 1997, including stronger language opposing capital punishment. The previous catechism, the Roman Catechism (or Catechism of the Council of Trent) was published in 1566. The "Baltimore Catechism" and other popular question-and-answer catechisms were based on the Roman Catechism. Both of the major catechisms follow the same four-part outline: The Creed, Sacraments and Worship, The Commandments, and Prayer. I find that current Catholic teaching is quite consistent with those questions and answers I memorized back in the 1950s - I just didn't understand all the implications of the questions and answers at the time, and I find that many people have some very distorted understandings of what they learned as kids in catechism class.

Many Catholics don't really understand their religion, especially since they have had no education in their faith as adults. Oftentimes, I find that Catholics in the U.S. talk more like evangelical Christians than Catholics, because Evangelical Christianity rules the airwaves. There are many good Catholic periodicals, but not many Catholics read them.

The right-wingers have the corner on Catholic electronic media. Most "Catholic" Websites I've seen are extremely right-wing - they bought up catholic.org and catholic.com early on. The Jesuits and Franciscans have good Websites, but hard-to-find URLS. There is a nationwide Catholic radio network in the U.S.; and Mother Angelica's godawful EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network) is also nationwide and very popular. All of these present themselves as true Catholicism, but Catholicism is much wider than they pretend it to be. I find the Catechism and most official documents from the Catholic Church to be quite satisfying - but the right-wingers interpret them with a lot of right-wing "spin."

Ed T sez: The "local interpretation" of what the RC church stands for is quite different, as defined by local differences and time, as the concept of the individual and the church is evolving. What Joe O describes, seems quite foreign to what I am told by local Rc's? Consistancy, maybe not?

What do they say, Ed? I will admit to being on the progressive side of Roman Catholicism, but what I say is generally consistent with what I was taught in a Catholic seminary in the 1960s.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Bill D
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 08:29 PM

speaking of those who do not fully understand their own religion...

I wonder if it was a Catholic boy who, when I was in 3rd or 4th grade, told me: "It's a sin to eat meat on Friday!".

It kinda worried me..until I finally asked someone... who said it WASN'T... which was one of my very early experiences of wondering how several different 'truths' could all be right. I think I was in high school before I finally began to how it all worked.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 10:08 PM

I was going to type this up for you to illustrate how hard it is to teach the Catholic religion to kids and for them to get it straight, but electricscotland.com told it so well.
    Little Zachary was doing very badly in math. His parents had tried everything…tutors, mentors, flash cards, special learning centers, and more.

    In short, everything they could think of to help his math.

    Finally, in a last ditch effort, they took Zachary down and enrolled him In the local Catholic school. After the first day, little Zachary came home with a very serious look on his face. He didn't even kiss his mother hello. Instead, he went straight to his room and started studying.

    Books and papers were spread out all over the room and little Zachary was hard at work. His mother was amazed. She called him down to dinner.

    To her shock, the minute he was done, he marched back to his room without a word, and in no time, he was back hitting the books as hard as before.

    This went on for some time, day after day, while the mother tried to understand what made all the difference.

    Finally, little Zachary brought home his Report Card. He quietly laid it on the table, went up to his room and hit the books. With great trepidation, His Mom looked at it and to her great surprise, Little Zachary got an 'A' in math.

    She could no longer hold her curiosity. She went to his room and said, 'Son, what was it? Was it the nuns?' Little Zachary looked at her and shook his head, no. 'Well, then,' she replied, Was it the books, the discipline, the structure, the uniforms? WHAT WAS IT?'

    Little Zachary looked at her and said, 'Well, on the first day of school when I saw that guy nailed to the plus sign, I knew they weren't fooling around.'


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket between courses
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 10:41 PM

Think on this then Joe.

If churches relied on people who genuinely had any form of belief, they would have been all turned into bingo halls years ago.

It is the hypocrisy of accepting money for weddings, funerals and christenings that keeps their flaky stake in most communities. In The UK at any rate. To say you have to say you believe in things that are intellectually abhorrent to you in order to have a public service performed is to misread the tolerance normal people indulge the Church with.

Here of all places, the wish for tradition should be understood. 99% of christenings are nothing to do with belief and everything to do with rites of passage in the tradition of your community.

I repeat. pete is someone I fundamentally disagree with but he seems to be the only one here with faith you could argue with, because he is consistent and doesn't keep changing the menu before the food arrives.

To pick and choose is fine but it loses any sense of meaning to the rest of us and makes any stance on religious grounds meaningless.

So. Who's for a raging debate on stamp collecting?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 11:28 PM

Musket, when I was a kid in the 1950s, social pressure required people to belong to a church and to attend services regularly. There were a lot of people in church who didn't want to be there, and their unwilling presence and empty participation detracted from the spirit of the congregation. That social obligation to belong to a church no longer exists, and I think that has done a lot to improve the spirit of congregations at church services. The rituals are no longer empty, because the people in the pews are there because they want to participate. Churches have reemphasized the original meaning of their rituals, and often require education before a sacrament is given to an individual. And yes, sacraments are refused to people who are unwilling to make a faith commitment. You want it to be the 1950s again, when you could take advantage of religious practices when they were appealing to you, without making a religious commitment.

And what, specifically, is this "picking and choosing" you accuse me of? That I reject simplistic misconceptions of Catholic teachings? That I, as a Catholic with a theology degree, take a stand on issues that are debated within the Catholic Church instead of waiting to be told what to think? What is it?

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 08:32 AM

Musket, for the slim chance that we learn something new here, would you please tell us what you think of the Humanist ceremonies I mentioned upthread - preferably abstracting from financial considerations?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: sciencegeek
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 08:54 AM

this geek has been a science fiction fan since before she could read, and gravitated towards those stories that presents ideas and forced you to think and examine your way of thinking about different things.

And the television series Babylon 5 by J. Michael Straczynski was one of the few that actually did an intelligent job dealing with religious thinking. At least moved it from dogma & superstition to a philosophical examination of the universe & our possible roles in it. I'm sure others could expound further on this than I can.

The alternate universe series of 1634 by Eric Flint goes into incredible detail regarding some of the various Christian faiths - and usually more than I can handle in a single sitting because it just brings to mind the arguments re: "how many angels can sit on the head of a pin" - something I always regarded as a futile waste of time. But it does hi-lite some of the historical/cultural bachground of our western civilization.

I bring this up because the eastern relgions have not been mentioned at all in the thread... the relgious beliefs of way more than half of the current human population has been ignored. I find that facinating, she says in her best Spock like voice.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 11:27 AM

One to watch out for?

Ancient Confession Found: 'We Invented Jesus Christ'

Biblical scholars will be appearing at the 'Covert Messiah' Conference at Conway Hall in London on the 19th of October to present this controversial discovery to the British public.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 01:47 PM

Joe. I have no issue with anyone over their faith. None whatsoever. Your commentaries on these threads mentioning your own interpretation are at any level refreshingly honest. Ok. I fail to see how I personally could handle the dichotomy of conformity and personal take, hence my pick and choose comments.

However, increasingly on these threads there has been a "because I am a Christian" or "Christians get a raw deal. " you yourself have been known to question them.

If what constitutes being a Christian is personal and somewhat variable, my point is that judgement from a "Christian" angle is meaningless. Some, not you, need to stop using their faith as a temporal tool. You need, in my humble opinion, to stop criticising other interpretations of Christianity as being embarrassing because it's their word too.

Grishka. I know nothing really of humanist ceremonies. I know very little of masonic ceremonies, boy scout ceremonies or many religious ceremonies. The humanist movement is, I believe, saying you you can enjoy a nice garden without seeing fairies at the bottom of it. As to ceremonies, it seems like the organisations calling themselves atheist organisations to me. If we didn't have religion, someone would invent it.

Not every religion can be right. I just think there is one more preaching bollocks than most believers do. Perhaps if I understood why you asked me?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 03:12 PM

Musket (GUEST), the BHS claims to have no ideological agenda other than being non-religious - quite differently from Masons etc. My question was just generally whether you would prefer ceremonies from such an organization to the corresponding church ceremonies.

(The international "Humanist" movement does have a history, but let us disregard that for the moment. Dawkins is not a member but he and the BHS speak very favourably of one another.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 03:18 PM

Just reading that Dawkins is the vice president of the BHA (British Humanist Association). My previous information was dated.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket evolving slowly
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 11:45 PM

Such ceremonies are, for me personally, traditional. Hence a church is the best place.

I thoroughly enjoyed a family wedding the other year. Lots of King James style thee and thou from the vicar. I had heard of all the hymns (mostly written by my near neighbour Charles Wesley) my wife helped the locals with the bell ringing and the organist had heard of Bach.

Conversely, a christening I went to last year had electric guitar, drums, bass, flashing lights, a vicar called Steve in a Hawiian shirt, various members of the congregation getting the microphone crying saying "thank you Jesus for being wonderful" and the words of the "hymns" seemed to consist of "he is great, live for him" ad nauseum as a repeating chant. In case you didn't notice the subliminal message, the words were on the wall in a PowerPoint presentation.

The former was a joy, the latter a fair shot at Dante's Inferno.

A humanist ceremony? About as relevant as the born again idiots who love their Lord but seem disdainful of tradition.

My first wedding was in a church. Loved the whole experience. My second wedding was in a hotel. Loved the whole experience. For the religious friends and family, it was sad that the church they love prevented them from enjoying a Church wedding, and we would have liked it too. They had no ceremonies to help pay the bills that day, I am reliably informed. Their loss. If they think people use churches for traditional ceremony due to having an imaginary friend, then this Dawkins that God botherers are fascinated about seems to have a point in the title God Delusion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 12 Oct 13 - 02:03 AM

For the religious friends and family

Do they know how much contempt you feel towards anyone with faith?
Not just non-belief but the rabid contempt you have expressed so fully here for such "morons."


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Oct 13 - 02:35 AM

I am as convinced an atheist as anyone, Ian. But I also value both sincerity & courtesy: and I feel your attitude that churches are a useful sort of public utility for you to disport yourself in fashionably, because you think it "the best place", is an affront to the sincerity of its true worshippers, and a gross discourtesy to them on your part.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 12 Oct 13 - 04:46 AM

I guess you can get a "humanist" wedding as traditionally as you want, with colourful gowns (worn by actors), bells, and whistles. Just with the G word and all theology avoided. Even KJ excerpts would be available, e.g. from the Canticles. It is also not hard to rent a building with neo-gothic windows. Would that suit you, Musket? If not, what else do you want for a wedding? If it is a real priest and a religious ceremony, why so?

Dawkins is prominent because he is hailed by the atheist movement (including the BHA who feature him on the top of their home page with as friendly a look as he can manage). I personally am also interested in his former scientific work and the connections between science and ideology.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Ed T
Date: 12 Oct 13 - 01:42 PM

""I think that the idea of "obedience to authority" in the Catholic Church has often been overstated, and sometimes understood as "obedience to the Pope." It has long been Catholic teaching that obedience to one's conscience takes precedence over any other authority. The Catholic Church is supposed to inform believers, who then must make the final decision regarding their own lives. At least in current times, official statements by the Catholic Church on moral issues, are rarely, if ever, stated in the form of commands - although the press and the right-wingers often reinterpret such statements in the form of absolute commands.

""What do they say, Ed (Canadian RCs)? I will admit to being on the progressive side of Roman Catholicism, but what I say is generally consistent with what I was taught in a Catholic seminary in the 1960s.""


Joe, a read of the RC generational survey indicates that it is an "overapplication of representativeness" to put all people in the RC church church in one grouping. The survey (which I can't certify that it was conducted well) indicates significant generational differences in the "adherence to the church's authority" (which seems reasonable to me). Since there are social and cultural difference among nations, it is not also "reasonable" to at least consider that there may also be similar differences among RC members from the many diverse RC countries (note that I have not seen any related research).

I am not sure just how reflective the comments I have heard from friends and relatives who are practicing RC's (none in the youngest generation noted in the survey). However, they indicate a greater acceptance of the authority of the church than you indicate from your experience above? If accurate, this may be a reflection of the difference in acceptance of authority between the USA and Canada? However, I have detect much frustration with the many sexual misconduct scandals by those in a position of trust(some may be more recent than in the USA).



Generational differences-survey


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 12 Oct 13 - 02:46 PM

When I want to give a fuck Michael and Keith, you'll be the first to know.

I only have contempt for one person I know on the basis of their Christianity. They know my feelings too. That's real people by the way. Not we pretend ones.

If churches feel the way you say, they'd insist on people not sniggering or having their fingers crossed when they promise to love Jesus or whatever. But the double bluff is they generally don't care one way or the other.

Why?

Because people get a tradition upheld and churches pretend they are still relevant to rational society.

We all win!

Even the ones who use their so called Christianity as a tool. Eh Keith?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Oct 13 - 03:38 PM

If you think I am going to pimp for you, you nasty little organism Musket...


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket being blasé
Date: 13 Oct 13 - 04:13 AM

Nothing nasty about orgasms Michael.

Even wankers need an eventual aim eh?

Why do you not see churches as public utility? Boutique Christians do! Why not rational people also?

You'll have to explain pimping for me. Decent upbringing you see. I know nothing of your world.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Oct 13 - 05:13 AM

But you said you'd let me know when you wanted to give a fuck. I am just asking - why? Can't you make your own arrangements?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Oct 13 - 06:26 AM

BTW, do you really not know the difference between an organism and an orgasm? Or can't you read? Or if, as I suspect, it was meant as some sort of joke, then I can honestly aver that I have never come across a more feeble one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket evolving slowly
Date: 13 Oct 13 - 07:11 AM

Whilst you are in one of your weird moods it isn't the right time to tell a little story but I shall anyway.

In my recent past as a health regulator I wrote and had published many Dept of Health reports on the ability of NHS trusts to monitor and act upon alert organisms. My mental block, Freudian as it may sound, has always been that I type orgasm instead and never pick it up when proof reading it. It once got past me, the QA peer review, publications edit etc and was published on the Healthcare Commission website how the board of a particular trust monitored orgasms.

In a similar way, as mortality rates at a hospital trust fell after a new chief executive came in and made a few changes, the local paper either accidentally or otherwise reported that morality rates had reduced.



Hence I couldn't resist confusing orgasm with organism. Same as you confuse people who claim to be Christians without obeying Christian rules with normal people who want the public service the Church has happily provided over the years. You think the former worthy of respect but the latter otherwise.

Shame on you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 13 Oct 13 - 09:03 AM

Musket, if you answered my question of 12 Oct 13 - 04:46 AM, you would finally write something that I find really interesting.

MtheGM, never feed 'em.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 13 Oct 13 - 09:07 AM

Christian rules?
Enlighten us Musket.
And, which ones are we breaking?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Oct 13 - 09:38 AM

Joe O
Like many in Mudcat, I have little recent and direct experience with the RC church, beyond research and perspectives I read and hear from
Others, in the media, on the web and from my RC neighbours and family members. I try and fine tune my experience and logic with what I learn from others to form a picture of current affairs.

You frequently remind us that you have much direct experience with a RC perspective on religion and have ample knowledge from your local involvement.This certainly ppsitions you well to provide finer details that few of us would have (thanks for thisn as it does contribute much to many. Christian -related discussions (most that I don't participate in much). However, sometimes being "too close" distorts the broader view and perspective - much like getting an accurate picture of the Sun and beyond, if you are positioned too close to it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket using simple language
Date: 13 Oct 13 - 10:11 AM

Ok Grishka. Max can't afford to run a website where I can use pictorial rather than scriptive posts, otherwise I would do. I have a programme that suggests pictorial and easy read, as I used to write reports on residential facilities for health related challenged people...

So whilst I answered your question before you asked it, I shall humour you and repeat my stance.

I don't know what a humanist wedding would be like? Not being a member of their club, it wouldn't feel right anyway. I married once in a church and once in a hotel. Both were good, both had Bach. I would have liked a church wedding for the second time, but apparently, picking and choosing Christianity is only allowed if you actually call yourself a Christian, even if you don't believe it. Me? I prefer to be honest. I know it is fairy stories that serve a purpose, especially for those in need of a comfort blanket, but I also accept that there is a whiff of pious hypocrisy in using the words with your fingers firmly crossed.


The Church of England has spent the last few hundred years ingratiating itself to the point of being an aspect of society, including in the secular sense, through the Lords Spiritual and inviting the vicar to indulge in village pump affairs.

To say that having built up the tradition, you then restrict on the basis of belief is a bit rich. It may seem refreshing to hear Joe Offer and Keith of La La Land state that the bible isn't literal, but to then piously accuse people of insulting their belief beggars belief. It may insult their choices on the menu, but the minute you pick and choose what to believe, your stance "as a Christian" is meaningless. There is only one Christian on these threads a far as I can see, and he isn gong to convince me of any argument any time soon....

So why you want me to comment on humanist issues is beyond me? I don't need their services. I have churches that will take my money if I want to be traditional, if I look hard enough. I have local government registrars who can make weddings real and legal in a hotel, (and a well stocked bar in our case.)

I said which is the best religion at the very beginning of this thread if you bother to look....


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 13 Oct 13 - 01:20 PM

Keith of La La Land state that the bible isn't literal, but to then piously accuse people of insulting their belief beggars belief.

I do not accuse and do not care.
Insult away.

It is just amusing when you show you ignorance about that which you mock.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 13 Oct 13 - 02:10 PM

Musket, thanks for taking the trouble to repeat your earlier statement, which I had understood alright. Unfortunately you dodged my question, essentially: if you had had the choice at your second wedding, would you have insisted on a genuine priest/minster, thus a Christian believer, or would you have preferred a good actor in a gown, who may share your own convictions? And why? Don't bother with moral justifications; the question is interesting in itself.

(That BHA organization only serves as an example that such services exist, not requiring any membership. Customers will be asked what they want to hear; KJV Canticles would be no problem.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 13 Oct 13 - 04:00 PM

The ceremony bits that include the legal recorder are either vicar or registrar. A vicar if you want to be in a church, or a registrar elsewhere. As I am not a member of any cult with other arrangements, including the rather silly "alternatives without God" people, I fail to see how they apply.

Churches with organs, drafty hard pews, up to a thousand years of history etc are an ideal place for a traditional wedding. If you can't have the experience of King James language, Bach and a quarter peal, then for me personally, the only alternative is a registrar asking the questions and filling in the legal forms. A local hotel supplied the food, drink, bed and somewhere for the band to plug in their p.a.

If you ask people to think about what the vicar is actually saying, then watch out. Far better people let it wash over them than realise they are saying you cannot raise children unless you are grateful to their imaginary friend, or you need a fictional 2000 year old bloke to guide you because you cannot be trusted to do the right things in life without the concept.

I did listen to the irrelevant waffle at a funeral a while ago and thought it rather insulting, as my friend wasn't superstitious yet he was one of the nicest people I had ever met. To listen to a bloke who never met him say he was guided by Jesus blah blah was disgraceful.

No. Far Better normal people enjoy the tradition when it suits them or they want it as a public service. Churches might do well to be grateful for that if they want to remain churches. Already, my wife says there are a large number of rings of bells in buildings that used to be churches but are no more, but their new use included keeping the bells, for which she and her fellow bell ringers are grateful. One close to us actually, now a council run arts centre, but a Victorian town centre church.

Which brings us back to Keith from La La Land.

Just think. Real Christians reckon the demise of the church is due to boutique Christians who think they are too clever and sophisticated to actually believe but think they are clever by saying they have belief.

Buggered if I can get my head around that. I must be ignorant after all! Thanks for telling me. Takes one to know one I suppose.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 13 Oct 13 - 06:20 PM

Musket, how stupid of me to think that you could be fobbed off with neo-gothic stuff; of course you deserve a genuine gothic church building, with all bells and whistles. There are unused ones for rent as well.

Now for the crucial point - the clergy person. Have I understood you correctly that you want them to be genuine as well, in particular Christian believers, but their words not to be listened to? Why that? If you wish religion to disappear, why would you finance its functionaries? (... if not for the trollish pleasure to see them corrupted, which would turn the solemn celebration to its opposite?) What is silly about what you call the rather silly "alternatives without God" people - assuming they could offer the style you prefer, Bach and all?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 12:54 AM

Indeed: esp as what you call "a genuine gothic church building" will actually almost certainly be mid-Victorian, and not "genuine gothic" at all.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket playing your game
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 05:38 AM

I could keep this up for hours...

Who, other than a vicar can sound convincing when speaking in the language of James I? It's the nostalgia for most of us. School head teachers thinking they are in a pulpit each morning in assembly. I said above that I enjoyed tradition and you get a church, get a real one. Otherwise it would be like I assume visiting a prostitute would be. You get the sex but lose the experience.

Michael seems to have had a rest and has come back with an interesting point. A church near us ripped the pews out recently and the anguish, threats even and debate around it... The pews were unsafe, (two had collapsed in as many weeks due to pie smugglers sitting on them) and they just had to go. Now, the church is Elizabethan, been left foot, right foot, high, low and everywhere you go. But the pews were put in in 1889. I too prefer to say neo gothic to gothic as applicable.

In short, no. I doubt someone dressed up as a vicar would be as good as the real thing. But that's my view. Others have theirs. Although Keith from La La Land raises an interesting point, inadvertently, when he mentioned that he picks and chooses what to believe. Most vicars have to keep the faithful happy, but I am sure that once you get a job, your outlook changes over the years and perhaps some people get a vicar who is as doubtful of their faith as a humanist bloke in a silly gown?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 08:40 AM

Musket, a lot of material to comment on.

Language of KJ: few vicars can do it properly; chances are that an actor would perform much better. My guess is that what you find "convincing" is the fact that the vicar represents the continuity of religion as a person - regardless of what s/he says. Most of us have similar feelings. What we really want is a meaningful connection to our ancestors, our community members, and their ancestors. In other words, our collective identity. Old forms such as the KJV can serve as symbols for that, but they are not the real thing themselves. Nostalgia always implies a surrogate. In fact there is no rational reason to assign any more "genuineness" to the Stuart era or the Middle Ages than to the present.

For the real thing to work, first of all we have to develop a respectful understanding of our own human nature and our fellow humans', including its roots in history. Those who do not want to take the trouble are not likely to get anything better than "a humanist bloke in a silly gown".

The real thing is about being, not about subscribing to any dogma connected to physical reality - or to any other dogma. In Joe's words, it is about honesty, not (dogmatic) truth. I was surprised to read that you were surprised to read that Keith and most Christians, notably including theologians and vicars, have similar views - though, honestly, conflicts exist. I personally avoid both words "truth" and "believe/belief" in a religious context; I prefer "faith". With your idea of cherry picking you are quite mistaken; if you ask me whether I believe the literal text of the Bible, the clear answer is no.

Do not ask me to defend any religious organization either; like most organizations, they are infested with incompetence, arrogance, and striving for power, in one word: sin. However, no clergy has the power to seize my notion of religious identity. (Please do not confuse that with "spiritual" - another topic.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket between courses
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 08:57 AM

I can't do any more than agree with most of what you put.

Of course there is a position of supporting the ethos without giving credence to the conjuring tricks. My noting is based on those who, like Keith, point out their Christian beliefs but leave the bemused onlooker no wiser. A position of " I choose which bits to believe but don't insult my belief" is disingenuous hypocrisy and makes the increasing irrelevance of the church all the more pertinent.

I do not agree however over your stance that a Stuart / Tudor approach would be as relevant. It wouldn't because the object of the exercise is comfort through nostalgia. Hence I loved a wedding I was at which was very traditional but failed to see the point of a bloke called Steve in a loud shirt introducing the rock section as they chanted their repetitive few words to 6/8 rock, and called it a hymn.

If churches are to survive long term they need to be of interest to the vast majority of people, and not expect obedience to their cause in return.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Claire M
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 09:36 AM

Hiya,

Love all that KJ thee & thou; I wish people still talked like that

1] I love mediaeval fiction, [any rec's??] & I want a stained-glass window film in my flat

2] I'll never forget a day out I had @ a shrine

3] I want to go to a church w/ a shouting preacher man, bellowing his head off like this
Hallelujah Brother! 

4] & this song  reminds a lot of people of me.

So maybe I'm not as atheist as I thought I was.

Can you like all that w/o the belief behind it??


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 10:06 AM

As usually, you misunderstood half of what I wrote - not too bad a proportion. I am not talking about ethos at all.

Secondly, I prefer to avoid the word "believe" mainly because you and Pete have a different notion of it from Joe and Keith. The latter are perfectly entitled to use that word in their own sense; we should just try to avoid misunderstandings. You obviously fail to understand even the most commonplace of Keith's statements. If you do not wish to improve your understanding, it is alright with me, but you cannot hope to become a respected discussion partner here.

Thirdly, it is a fundamental error to think that a religion (- if countable at all -) is defined by a club of professional clergy. Religion exists and is about the existence of its community (not primarily of God or other elements of dogma). We have the right and the duty to criticize the clergy and their theology, but we must decide whether they are ours or not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 10:48 AM

Hi Claire; my previous message was the reply to Musket, of course.

You have a different approach to the matter. The classical CoE style is mumbled and softly chanting, never "bellowing his head off". The latter can be heard, together with "thou/thy/thee", in some American-style evangelical churches.

If there were an option, I would support those pronouns being reintroduced, so that it will be clear whether one or more person is being addressed, and in what grammatical case. Alas, no chance.

You can enjoy ceremonies without subscribing to the ideas behind them, but that will not help you in religious matters. Many of those who fall into trance on such occasions (- believers, half-believers, and non-believers -) feel more miserable when waking up. There are other dangers, including being ruined mentally and/or financially. The other day you mentioned a fundamentalist who told you that your misfortune is your own fault - you get the idea.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: frogprince
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 11:10 AM

With all the things that people do in this world that are harmful to themselves and others, I have no inclination to feel judgmental because someone who isn't religious wants their wedding to feel like they would like it to feel. And I feel a bit put off by hearing someone pass judgment on anything that benign.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 11:56 AM

I suppose whether or not a church will allow non-believers to marry on their premises will depend whether they see themselves as there only to serve committed believers or as an integral part of the wider community they are located in. I wouldn't want to get married in a church personally, but for a lot of people it's a fundamental part of the entire experience. The local CofE church near my house also serves as a venue for (non-religious) live music, a film club, a green festival and a rather good beer festival. Your credentials are not checked on the door. It also organises a fun run (no doubt to "raise money for the church roof", which always sounds like a euphemism) that lots of local people who don't attend the church participate in. Surely being part of your local community and appreciated by local people for that is better than remaining aloof? Certainly it appears to be more in line with the best of JC's teachings...


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Claire M
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 01:08 PM

Hiya,

I agree w/ thine sentiments Grishka!
No point going to a ceremony just to hear that. Oh, sorry, the bellowing was a ref to the blues song.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 14 Oct 13 - 01:59 PM

Nigel ~~ Well of course they wouldn't check the religious affiliations, if any, of visitors to a beer festival or a film club, which are the sort of things a church will do, as it were extra-curricularly, to relate to its local community. But surely you can see that the same considerations might not apply to an earnestly and sincerely held faith-based ritual, constituting solemn vows made in the name of the deity that the church's primary function is to provide means for its genuine congregation to worship? Its provisions should not be exploited frivolously by those not involved in the rite as a specifically religious occasion. I still think it rude to treat such a rite as just another such provision as a film club or a beer festival.

The fact that you and I don't believe in that deity is IMO entirely beside the point, both as regards morality and seemliness.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 01:26 AM

"Religion, which is the best one?"

Same as political parties.....NONE OF THEM!!!


GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket between courses
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 01:38 AM

Get real Michael.

Our pious Christian brethren on this thread make such solemn vows and then get to pick and choose the bits they wish to believe. You seem to be saying that if you chant the words you need to believe them?

In that case there are less Christians than we thought. Especially in CofE...






Oh Hi Goofus! Thanks for that scintillating observation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 01:42 AM

Besides, my Karma just ran over your Dogma!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 05:34 AM

Musket sez: Our pious Christian brethren on this thread make such solemn vows and then get to pick and choose the bits they wish to believe.

Well, Musket, it seems to me you have lost your objectivity, and you've been overwhelmed by your own cynicism. I think you have a very limited view of religious faith as merely subscribing to a laundry list of doctrines and rules. And of course, you then reject this faith as ludicrous. And yet you expect the ministers of this ludicrous faith to be available to you for pageantry when needed.

Well, religion isn't so shallow as what you describe. The doctrines and rules are attempts to define what is beyond definition. Those doctrines and rules are useful tools for religious groups, but they are not the faith itself. Religious faith has appeal to many people who are far more intelligent than you make them out to be - some may even be more intelligent than you are.

But you know, if you do need to hire somebody to do the rituals for your special occasions, there are many inactive clergy who will do the job for a fee, with no commitment required. Those affiliated with active congregations, will usually be unwilling to do your rituals unless you, too, are affiliated. If that's the case, go to the clergy who are willing to do the job for hire. If you can't find them in the UK, there are plenty in the casinos of Las Vegas and Reno and Atlantic City - and they do a pretty good job.

-Joe-


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Subject: Lyr Add: IMAGINE (John Lennon)
From: GUEST,If only
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 11:13 AM

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one


As I say if ONLY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,musket to Joe
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 12:06 PM

And there we must leave reality behind.

What you say would be of interest if it was the base of your church. But it isn't. Your church command obedience to a Creed, more than the Anglican ones do for that matter.

You slate me for wanting the tradition yet seem happy to recite words on a Sunday that you would rather people not take literally. Well most people in The UK want to use their local CofE church less frequently, chant the words but not literally believe them.

I think the difference between you and them is one of frequency and occasion. Plus most people increasingly can't see themselves as Christians as they cannot accept the embarrassing bits as true. Differentiating between belief and believing is beyond many of us, so congratulations for being able to do so.

Casinos of Reno, Vegas etc are something to see when UK people go abroad. How you think they fit in with wanting a traditional wedding etc is beyond me. If you can't get a church here, a hotel and the local government registrar will turn up if the hotel is registered for weddings. For the other traditional uses of church, christenings and funerals, you are left with either travelling to an enlightened parish or joining the thousands who tell them any old bollocks if it helps get the public service they advertise as performing.

I don't expect you to know the passive but ever present traditional role of the parish vicar to most UK people over the years, not just to Christians. Same as I don't have knowledge of Catholic churches other than visiting a few big ones on holiday such as The Vatican and myriad huge ones with fresh gold leaf in the impoverished areas of Malta.

Joe. Don't question my knowledge. Knowledge of the ins and outs of organisations are not a prerequisite to understanding their effect on others.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 12:16 PM

But I am real, Musket. At least, I think I am.

If you prick me do I not bleed? If you tickle me do I not laugh?*

But maybe I'm just an old solipsist, at that...?

~M~

*Well no, actually; I happen not to be ticklish. But let's let that pass...


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket to Michael
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 01:57 PM

Well if you are real, your stance is coming over as unrealistic.

You say people should only use a church if they take the words seriously. But with the exception of pete, I have yet to read a post from someone whose calling card has "Look at me, I'm a Christian" that doesn't qualify which parts of the Christian faith they buy into and which they dismiss as unrealistic.

What's the difference between them and those for whom a church is the traditional part of key family and friend events?

I suppose there is hypocrisy versus honesty but other than that, nothing. When someone says they want to uphold a tradition, but don't believe that it means anything beyond that, it seems like honesty to me.

After all, how many Morris dancers feel they are real Morris dancers because their dancing will help produce a good yield in the fields and bed chambers? By your reckoning, you have to buy into pagan superstition in order to do the Winster gallop....


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 05:30 PM

Michael to Musket ~~

I feel a fallacy in your comparisons above, especially the last one. But it's late at night and I am a bit whoozy from the excitement of England having left it pretty late to consummate their win over Poland & ensure place in Brazil World Cup.

Might have to fallback on Hegel. Or Locke. Or Nietszche. Or Spinoza. Or Andy Capp...

Shall give some overnight thought and return to the fray refreshed in the morning.

Or not...

G'night

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 05:58 PM

Real morris dancers will not allow Pete to beat them in terms of fundamentalism and stubbornness. However, those who hope for a good yield in the bed chambers tend to prefer other dances.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 06:10 PM

"I am a bit whoozy from the excitement" - and so am I. What an exciting 90 minutes!


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 09:26 PM

Musket sez: What you say would be of interest if it was the base of your church. But it isn't. Your church command obedience to a Creed, more than the Anglican ones do for that matter.

I dunno what you're trying to say, Musket. The Roman Catholic Church, the Anglicans, and many other Christian denominations hold to the same Nicene Creed, which is a statement of their common beliefs. It was developed over two hundred years and has been in force since 325 AD. People don't really obey a creed - they hold it, or believe it. And yes, I also believe that creed and hold the Bible as my sacred book. They give a fairly simple, straightforward message that is best expressed in the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles.

What I don't believe, is all the literalism and extra garbage the Christian fundamentalists add to the Bible, particularly when they hold allegorical writings to be historical truth. And in areas were there is debate, I generally tend to take a moderate or liberal position.

But just because the fundamentalists lay claim to sole possession of the title "Christian," doesn't mean they are the only valid expression of the Christian faith. And there are fundamentalist Catholics who claim to be the only true Catholics - some are having real trouble accepting our current Pope. And the same goes for political conservatives in the U.S. who lay claim to the American flag and all things American - I'm every bit as American as they are; and I'm every bit as Christian as the fundamentalists claim to be.

But Musket, it strikes me as ludicrous that you, who make no claim to be Christian at all, should consider yourself to be an arbiter of such things.

On the topic of rituals and such, let me say that I know many clergymen (especially in small towns) who will perform rites-of-passage rituals for anyone who has a need for such a ritual. You're right that even non-religious people have need of such rituals. But generally, good clergy tailor the ritual to the belief or lack of belief of the person on the receiving end of the ritual. It would be a sacrilege for a Catholic priest to have a funeral Mass for a professed atheist, but many priests will perform some sort of ritual for the deceased and the grieving family.

My brother hasn't been a practicing Catholic since he became an adult, and he speaks of religion with a good dose of cynicism, much as you do. When he got married at Harrah's Casino in South Lake Tahoe, I was surprised that he wanted a religious ceremony. But that's what he got, and it was done tastefully. I was best man, and I did the reading about love from the 13th chapter of I Corinthians.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 12:30 AM

In your third para, Joe, I can't help feeling you are somewhat begging the question re the word 'allegorical', both as to its meaning & in relation to those parts of Holy Writ which should be so regarded. Some passages are clearly 'allegorical' (Song of Solomon, e.g.), others presumably to be taken as telling true historical facts {Babylonian exile}. But with many it is hard to tell which to regard them as ~~ Lot's daughters? [& if true, what morality are we to draw from that?]; Job?; the "fingers of a hand that writ" at Belshazzar's feast? [not NB on the wall specifically, despite the dead metaphor of "the writing being on the wall"]... I don't think it quite OK for you to use the word as if it were in all cases self-evident as to what is allegory & what is not.

Musket: I'll make it Hegel. Your examples [the Morris &c] are qualitatively different from religious faith, and don't pretend you don't know it. No Morrisman has ever truly believed he was doing it on the pavements of Hammersmith to make the crops grow, and you don't think he has; while a true Christian worshipper in church at a recognised devotional occasion like a wedding does believe that, however much he is going somewhat mechanically & not with entire attention & concentration, thru a formulaic ritual, there is a real entity there listening whom he respects and worships. And don't disingenuously pretend you can't make out this distinction for yourself; becoz you just ain't that stchoopid!

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 01:09 AM

Hi, Mike-

I wouldn't say that Genesis is allegorical. It's written in the language of legend that is common in the stories people tell of their origins. What moral is to be drawn from the story of Lot's daughters? - that even the patriarchs had dysfunctional families, and yet they survived and prospered. Certainly that's a good lesson - that you can be totally screwed up and still do something good.

Job is interesting, because it's so obviously written in two different styles. Chapters 1, 2, and 42 are written in the colorful language of a folktale, and they're a great story. The language in chapters 3-41 is theological and VERY boring, but it has value as an inquiry into the reasons why "bad things happen to good people." But again, it's boring. I'd recommend 1, 2, and 42.

Leviticus is an interesting phenomenon, because it has lists of moral codes that sometimes contradict each other. Scripture scholars will tell you that such-and-such a passage was the moral code effective at such-and-such a time and place, and then next one was effective at another time and place.

If I understand him correctly, Jesus says that all Scripture is to be interpreted with two basic laws in mind:
  • Love God above all things
  • Love your neighbor as yourself
If you keep these two principles in mind and remember that they may not be violated under any circumstances, the rest of Scripture starts to make sense - and it's impossible to honestly move to the extremes of interpretation.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket evolving slowly
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 01:16 AM

Yeah but I move in mysterious ways Michael. My Morris comparison still holds.

I would have replied earlier but was watching the England match in the pub and the celebrations carried on. A bit of a bugger as it is now 6.00am and I am waiting for my toast to burn before being picked up to go and deliver my sermon from the pulpit. (Speaking of future NHS structures at a conference is similar to speaking of the distant past in a church. Hope the congregation have a salt pot in their collective pocket.

To both Joe and yourself I say this. You are both unduly complicating the issue. On the few occasions I have been in a service I have listened to the words. I don't think that is asking too much. If the words are being used, it isn't a mental leap too far to expect them to be bound up in the belief people profess.

So... When I am sat across from a doctor saying amen to fantasy such as rising from the dead, performing of miracles or a being sentient enough to hear such prayer. .. I wonder how that doctor can explain how the rising from the dead works.

They can't.

They don't have to.

They traditionally rather than fundamentally believe.

Anyone can traditionally believe. Even for the hour or so it takes to knock out a weddingor funeral. I did a reading at a funeral. Does that make it any less real to those listening who had belief? No. It didn't.

What is the bloody difference? I recall the "we are all God's children" bit. So it makes the prerequisite to believe a little superfluous doesn't it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 01:35 AM

Musket sez: What is the bloody difference? I recall the "we are all God's children" bit. So it makes the prerequisite to believe a little superfluous doesn't it?

You're right, Musket. Therefore, if there is a God who is active in the world, what matters is not whether we believe, but how we respond to that God's actions - whether we acknowledge them as the action of God, or not.

Is there a "prerequisite to believe"? I don't think so, but the evangelical Christians seem to think that's the only thing necessary. I do believe, and that has its good points and its bad points - but I think the "prerequisite" is whether you treat your world well, and your neighbor as yourself. And I think that's true, whether or not there is a God.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 03:17 AM

Musket, Jesus was criticised for not adhering to the strict, literal interpretation of keeping the Sabath.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 03:50 AM

Joe Offer: "If I understand him correctly, Jesus says that all Scripture is to be interpreted with two basic laws in mind:

    Love God above all things
    Love your neighbor as yourself

If you keep these two principles in mind and remember that they may not be violated under any circumstances, the rest of Scripture starts to make sense - and it's impossible to honestly move to the extremes of interpretation.

-Joe-

..........

If only that understanding is grasped, would you begin to realize how profound Joe's words are!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

...and this part, extends into all sorts of places in seeing life!!...."- and it's impossible to honestly move to the extremes of interpretation."

..and reality opens up, with properties, beyond judgement, but only imagined....and you begin to approach both the wonderment of the   power of it all, with humble fascination...and more becomes accessible,..............

ONE MORE TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

""If I understand him correctly, Jesus says that all Scripture is to be interpreted with two basic laws in mind:

    Love God above all things
    Love your neighbor as yourself

If you keep these two principles in mind and remember that they may not be violated under any circumstances, the rest of Scripture starts to make sense - and it's impossible to honestly move to the extremes of interpretation.""

Thank you Joe!!!
Highest Regards!!

Guest from Sanity


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket evolving slowly
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 04:40 AM

Who could disagree? (Having Goofus on side makes it tempting but I digress. )

But. .

The criticism aimed at my point was whether churches should pick and choose from those for whom the tradition of certain functions such as marriage funeral and baptism.

If belief itself is variable with regard to doctrine, then there is a place for the heathen majority who may not use it for personal religious reasons but support the continuity of the presence by the commercial cost of the services they sell.

I am not sure that should insult the faith of the faithful?

I keep harking back to the Maori guide telling us about a mountain chain and how giants made them in their religious history. "We traditionally believe. ." An excellent way of describing a strong sense of religion without inviting "holder than thou" from the ranks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Just a passing thought
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 05:48 AM

Why do you need a place of worship such as a church, temple, mosque, synagogue to follow your chosen religion and be bound by the restrains & customs that go with them, after all aren't they man made?
And does it say in any of the Holy books that you must congregate in these places in order to be a fully paid up member of your chosen faith. I.e. you're not a proper Christian unless you go to church!


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 07:14 AM

"GUEST,Just a passing thought", you are raising an important point, often referred to as "private spirituality". The idea is that you choose (or even "cherry pick") a religion you are happy with, and do not care what others believe. You are perfectly entitled to do that, but in my experience and knowledge of human nature, it is not what people really want. Neither is Musket's diametrical extreme of just picking the buildings, gowns, and rituals.

The primary idea of religion implies sharing it with your community and your ancestors (sorry for repeating myself). Sharing means compromise; individualists (like most Mudcatters including myself) will have their problems. Also, the way people think and speak changes dramatically in the course of the centuries, causing old language to change or lose its meaning. To cope with that, we must make an effort to identify the important essence and transfer it into our own ways of thinking. It cannot always be successful, but the alternative "they all are superstitious morons; I can do on my own" is much less desirable.

Of course all holy books emphasize the value of collective worship. Temples on "sacred sites" are actually frowned upon by most theologians, but all religious organizations have them, together with other old practices that can be called superstitious.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 07:49 AM

Jesus said, "For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them."


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 08:39 AM

In Judaism, for certain prayers to be devotionally valid, a minimum of ten adult men [known in Hebrew as a 'minyan'] is required to be present. There is a good wikipedia article giving details of the occasions where this is requisite. A foonote states --

"Maimonides (a preeminent medieval Spanish, Sephardic Jewish philosopher, astronomer and one of the most prolific and influential Torah scholars and physicians of the Middle Ages) writes that "The prayer of the community is always heard; and even if there were sinners among them, the Holy One, blessed be He, never rejects the prayer of the multitude. Hence a person must join himself with the community, and should not pray by himself so long as he is able to pray with the community." Mishneh Torah Hilkhot Tefillah 8.1

Note that the final clause provides a let-out for times that a minyan cannot be gathered for any valid reason, or even if the worshipper is for some reason in a solitary situation.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket evolving slowly
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 09:26 AM

Notwithstanding the need shared by many to go to church in order to carry out part of the traditional method, in The UK at any rate, of weddings funerals and baptism. The religious part being something that doesn't apply, just the tradition.

I am told by my responsible adult that with wide screen TV etc it is daft going to a football match. I agree on every level other than the bit about going to the match. I am sure many church goers feel the same.

In fact even last night it made more sense to me to be in the pub with a slightly restricted view of the screen to watch the England match than to sit at home Billy No Mates watching it in luxury.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Just a passing thought
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 09:56 AM

But the buildings that pertain to be places of worship are built by mankind and so their designs are open to human vanities and the want to impress and pander to human egos ( mine cathedral/ Mosque / Synagogueis bigger than yours)and so the mere act of worship, for which they are supposed be built for becomes secondary.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Ed T
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 11:13 AM

I often wonder if people sometimes post to entertain themselves, versus posting to entertaining an important issue with others? Just a passing thoight, in passing thrlugh this thread..


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 12:29 PM

Not only the CofE, most societies worldwide nowadays have big problems in the way they conceive and practice their collective identity. These problems should be discussed more frequently and seriously than currently done.

The professional clergy will have to change their ways considerably, much more so than e.g. the current pope seems to plan. But if the CofE becomes yet another BHA, with more convincing KJ chant, no problem will be solved whatsoever. The same applies to people reflecting their "private spirituality" in front of their TV set.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket nodding
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 02:34 PM

Ed.. Ashamed of you. Don't burst the general BS bubble. We will have to think twice before firing off if we take your observation on board, and that would never do.

I reckon it is this thread, (33% chance of being right) where Michael threatened to invoke the odd philosopher. Of the list he gave, I for one would vote for Andy Capp. I have studied his work, as transcribed to his faithful Boswell, Reg Smythe.

In trying to educate the local vicar, he, as I recall, had the following advice;

"One half of the world are trying to have fun and the other half are trying to stop them."

"There is so much good in the worst of us and so much bad in the best of us, it's difficult to see who should be preaching to the rest of us."

"As you ask, yes. I am ashamed that Flo goes out scrubbing floors to fund my time in the pub, but to be honest, she's too dim to do anything else."

What with him and Brian Clough, Hartlepool has produced more than its fair share of philosophers....... (I could add my old mate Kev Rafferty, but I shan't....)


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 03:49 PM

"Passing thought" sez: Why do you need a place of worship such as a church, temple, mosque, synagogue to follow your chosen religion and be bound by the restrains & customs that go with them?

People need churches, temples, mosques, synagogues, and religious laws and customs because they are sacred and meaningful to them. I remember my deceased mother's birthday because it is sacred and meaningful to me, even though she's dead and even though she often wasn't very nice to me. Why should anyone question or ridicule whatever is sacred and meaningful to me, if it does nobody harm? At the very least, isn't it rude and unkind to question or ridicule what I hold sacred?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 05:37 PM

And don't forget, Ian ~~ "Listen, woman. You'd be a much better wife if you'd stop trying to make me a better husband."

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 17 Oct 13 - 12:28 AM

Good one, MtheGM!!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Just a passing thought
Date: 18 Oct 13 - 10:57 AM

Jo.
    you say;
Why should anyone question or ridicule whatever is sacred and meaningful to me, if it does nobody harm? At the very least, isn't it rude and unkind to question or ridicule what I hold sacred?

I'm not ridiculing you or anyone else, I'm just interested in people's reasons for needing or wanting to worshiping in public in places of worship,which after all are man made buildings, surely Your God would listen to you where ever you chose to worship, particularly if it was heart felt, rather then following in parrot fashion and often repetitive(weekly) a service that takes place in a place of worship. And yes OK it's not harming anyone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Ed T- not worshiping, just wondering?
Date: 18 Oct 13 - 03:19 PM

I wonder why they call city Mayors,"Your worship"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Oct 13 - 03:30 PM

Yeah, that title "Your Worship" sure sounds funny to us Americans. Wikipedia, of course, has something to say about it.

I was really proud of a response I typed up for "Passing Thought," with all sorts of links for illustration. I clicked in not quite the right place, and the window and my post disappeared before I got a chance to click the "submit" button."
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Oct 13 - 04:08 PM

Passing Thought, I did not intend to accuse you of ridiculing, but it has become common in our modern, enlightened culture to ridicule and denigrate all thoughts and practices that are not our own. I think it's bad manners, but denigration is in vogue nowadays.

I think it's clear in II Samuel Chapter 7, that God wasn't particularly interested in having a temple, and rather liked moving about in a portable tent. But David wanted a temple, and God allowed David's son Solomon to build on. From all accounts, it was really good for the tourist trade in Jerusalem, and Jews were really proud of it.

I think the world would be poorer without the beautiful architecture of religious buildings from all cultures, from the Polish Cathedral style of architecture in the U.S., to the Mayan pyramids. Think of St. Peter's, St. Paul's, St. Basil's, Hagia Sophia, the Dome of the Rock and countless other mosques, and Angkor Wat.

But I don't think religious buildings are for God - they are for the people, an expression of their identity and their relationship with their concept of God. All of the religious buildings on my list were a tremendous waste of money, and no doubt many involved greed and political intrigue and all sorts of other vices - but they sure are nice to have now. And they have served as a source of inspiration and pride and dignity and identity for generations upon generations of people. They also have provided employment to many artisans and craftsmen, and gathering places for all sorts of purposes. So, if people want to build churches, why not?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Ed T
Date: 18 Oct 13 - 05:02 PM

When I see the Mayan and Aztec pyramids I don't visualize "the beautiful religious architecture of these cultures" at all - I feel very saddened for the human misery they brought - as they were used as a "stage" for the sacrifice of human life to please their Gods.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Jeri
Date: 18 Oct 13 - 06:24 PM

I was raised as a Methodist, although I'm a non-believer now. I remember asking our minister about why we had to go to church and what was so special about it. I'm aware what some people believe about religions, but we were encouraged to ask questions, and the minister didn't always have answers. On this issue, though, he did, even if this is me paraphrasing what he said some 40-ish years ago.

We don't need to be anywhere in particular to worship God. God made everything, so everywhere is his. Churches are just places where people can worship together, and are dedicated to that purpose. It's funny, but I just looked for my old church's website, and right there on the main page, it said "We know God can be found anywhere, but we feel closer here.

Nobody was killed there. It's where my parents were married, where I was baptized and went to Sunday School, ate meals with people in my community, saw quite a few Christmas pageants, and sang. I have nothing but good memories of that building.

Lots of bad things have happened in people's homes, but we still appreciate those, too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Oct 13 - 06:35 PM

I think that says it all, Jeri.
Did the Mayans do human sacrifice? Whether they did or not, their structures are intriguing.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Ed T
Date: 18 Oct 13 - 07:03 PM

If realy bad things happen in a structure (a recent example is the Castro house, where three young women were kept as sex slaves), the structure would seem just "creepy" to me.

Human sacrifices, and human slavery to serve "the gods" is not a historic myth, it's a reality. IMO, the structures, no matter how advanced in history, should be a reminder of inflicting human folly of human suffering for a "relligious cause" - versus making them a monument revered for " good architecture", with "the rest of the story swept under the carpet".


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Oct 13 - 09:00 PM

I dunno, Ed. I tend to avoid moralizing about what was done by other cultures, especially by ancient ones. We live life from a different perspective, and I think it's foolhardy to morally condemn a perspective we cannot understand. Americans and Britons have had the bad habit of claiming moral superiority over other cultures that we've labelled "savage," and look where it's got us.

To my mind, interesting architecture, is interesting architecture. I do not favor tearing down ancient religious sites because we disapprove of the religions that built them.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket evolving slowly
Date: 19 Oct 13 - 02:55 AM

You know Joe, instead of saying "Americans and Britons" you could just as easily say "Christians. " Stops the Spanish, Portuguese, Belgians, French, Germans, Russians from getting off the hook.

Whatever the more temporal aims of those in charge, the foot soldiers were told their colonial actions were to the glory of God and the savages were a blasphemous affront.

Denigrating practices that are not your own may well be bad manners but think on two thoughts if you would;

By stating your Creed as part of debate, you lay it open to scrutiny. You shouldn't be offended when it is dismissed as irrelevant or indeed seen globally as part of the problem.

Many people have no issue with religion so long as it affects their members only, and then only in a legal framework.   The remnants from the superstitious past still linger on the statute books over here. Churches can sometimes be rather aggressive in trying to maintain influence in society.

And let's not forget, the one area where science can take religion on board is that of social sciences. It is a well researched, pretty well proven fact that the object of religion is controlling the masses. The stories, which you for one are quick to point out are just stories to gain moral guidance from, were put forward for people to actually believe. Medieval peasants and inbred monarchs didn't have the benefit of your education nor indeed wisdom.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Oct 13 - 03:34 AM

Musket sez: It is a well researched, pretty well proven fact that the object of religion is controlling the masses.

Joe's response: If it's proven, prove it. I, as one who practices religion, don't feel particularly controlled.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket evolving slowly
Date: 19 Oct 13 - 04:22 AM

You practice something you call religion. Controlling the masses has been achieved using something called religion.

Which use of the word religion do you wish people to prove? Yours can't be proven because it is unique to Joe Offer.

Tell you what. I'll go one better. Blessed are the meek. The one about eyes of needles and rich men. Jam tomorrow. ... mmmmm. You know, the role of the church, mosque, temple, shaman...   I wonder why kings put up with them? I wonder what use they had?

Any other sentences you wish to take out of context? Be my guest.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 19 Oct 13 - 06:22 AM

Religion is simply an aspect of human life, not an independent agent that could want to control humans. The same applies, for example, to politics.

Some people want to control, others want to be guided and lead, some hope to profit selfishly from the "powers that be", some find it wise to "do as the Romans do", and there are many other ways of relating to power and control. Those in power normally seek legitimation from the existing system of approved values, often in terms that we may call religious. If the existing religious tradition fails to provide the desired legitimation (- notably the New Testament, which is essentially critical of any earthly power, in spite of doing its best to avoid irritating the Roman Empire any more than necessary -), teachings can be tweaked and corrupted.

That is all. No religion-vs.-people.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Ed T
Date: 19 Oct 13 - 08:18 AM

Joe O:

Where did you get the idea that I suggested ""tearing down ancient religious sites because we disapprove of the religions that built them"". I make no such suggestion, and feel that it would be a purposeless approach.

True, interesting architecture, is indeed interesting architecture to be enjoyed. However, when a main purpose is human sacrifice (in this case, to the gods), it puts that specific architecture in a different place, at least with me - no matter which period to which it belongs.

We do live in a different world than ancient cultures. That puts us in a better position "to understand and reflect" on the unfortunate parts of history,(on slavery, cruelty, and human sacrifice) rather than ignore it as if it never existed, explain it away as a different time, or even "glorify" it. It is hardly "foolhardy" to also reflect on the full purpose of the specific architecture while still enjoying it.

Few cultures, countries, race of people, or periods in time can claim "moral superiority", over another. Some terrible acts of human suffering has followed the human race - often tacked to a variety of causes" - and unfortunately they follow us to today. Ignoring them means we will never learn to be more compassionate and considerate of "the other ones" who have suffered.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 19 Oct 13 - 01:07 PM

Well, that's the problem with a LOT of people, who can't seem to get it straight....
'Religion' is man's way of reaching God....
So frantic is that attempt, that those same people seem to disregard God's way of reaching man!!..so they become blinded by man's 'attempts', and resent God, thinking that God has something to do with 'religion'!!!

Now, if God was trying to reach man...what would He want to 'fix'??
What would He want to convey??

How about overcoming death, with the message that, Love is the power that does that?
Anyone come to mind?

Oh no, not Him again....He's the one to whom 'religions' have done almost everything possible, to steer people AWAY from, just so THEY could be the answer!...and politically agenda driven morons, push for more government to keep us 'in line', because they fear that if Love could do that, they'd become irrelevant...and we certainly don't want the manipulators of people's lives to FEEL minimized, now do we???
So their control factor incorporates the fear of 'discomfort' or death,......but, shhh, don't tell them, but that has been overcome as well!!

No wonder they hate Him.....He's made them powerless....unless you 'believe' them!!!

So, which is 'the best one'??

Oh, and did I tell you.....HE has NOTHING to do with 'religion'!!!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 19 Oct 13 - 05:04 PM

I don't feel controlled either. but I reckon it undeniable that the "church" has wielded power ,at least in history.
but for all the churches excesses of power it is IMO paltry compared to the atheist regimes of the more recent past. their power over people has been near total.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 19 Oct 13 - 06:47 PM

Those who more or less ruthlessly strive to take control will use whatever religion or ideology happens to be at hand. This need not discredit the underlying ideas (e.g. the idea that all humans should be equal - obviously the winners will be "more equal"), but will often pervert their interpretation. All idealists should be very critical of their leaders.

Fundamentalism lends itself to totalitarianism, since the claim of absolute truth facilitates absolute political power. Think of the Ayatollahs in Iran.

There are other techniques of totalitarianism though, including total spying under the pretext of preventing terrorism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Oct 13 - 08:16 PM

Ed sez:
Where did you get the idea that I suggested ""tearing down ancient religious sites because we disapprove of the religions that built them"". I make no such suggestion, and feel that it would be a purposeless approach.


and in response to a general statement I made about people ridiculing religion, "Passing Thought" said: I'm not ridiculing you or anyone else


Both personalized the matter and give the impression they thought I was accusing them of something, rather than opposing the action or attitude itself. Logical error, I think. Bad tactic in discussion. It can make an exchange of ideas well-nigh impossible.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Ed T
Date: 19 Oct 13 - 08:47 PM

I dunno, Joe offer. I reread your comments and it is easy to get that impression. Maybe it would be a better approach in a discussion to be careful not post in a manner that leaves an incorrect interpretation to those you seem to be adressing?

I am not trying to "personalize" the discussion (or be argumentative) I am just making a suggestion for a remedy on what you raise, as you seem to indicate two posters got the wrong impression from what you recently posted.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 20 Oct 13 - 01:14 AM

This goes right along with Joe Offer's earlier post..and is, in fact something overlooked by most 'religions'.....you know, those institutions that make 'laws' out of dogma...

1 Timothy 1:5-7

5 "Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of genuine faith:

6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;

7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm."

Pretty much says it all...and as to WHY religions have tried to replace the teachings of Jesus! who, BTW, did NOT start or found a religion!!!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Oct 13 - 01:56 AM

Hi, Ed - I think this is one of those "two nations divided by a common language" kinda things. To be universally understood, I should have used "one" instead of "you" - but that's rarely done in the U.S.
Sorry.
...and I have to say that I think that if we understood what others were really thinking, most of us could probably come to some sort of agreement.

Still, we have this from Musket: It is a well researched, pretty well proven fact that the object of religion is controlling the masses.

Certainly it's true that people have used religion as a tool for controlling others, but is that the essential object of religion? I think not - most religions were founded on some form of the Golden Rule, and got (at least partially) perverted later. All organizations get perverted - but does that mean we shouldn't organize? Better to reform, and not take perversion as a "given."

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Oct 13 - 02:10 AM

I wonder if maybe all Jesus meant to do, was to reform Judaism - just as what Luther sought to do was to reform Catholicism.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket evolving slowly
Date: 20 Oct 13 - 05:03 AM

Reform.   Interesting question Joe.

I notice it is rarely those in charge who seek reform.

Which brings us to my point regarding the use if not the origins of religion.

In fact, the idea of "if you don't do as I say the gods will be pissed off" goes back to the origins of language. See cave paintings for details. And that was well before a Hebrew God was ever invented.

I like the schism in The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.   It appears there is now a Reformed Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Hey Joe? isn't the endeavour of The Secular Society, The Humanist Movement and other "atheist" bodies really a reform movement? Keep the morals but lose the fantasy?

Just a thought.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 20 Oct 13 - 06:01 AM

I like the schism in The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.   It appears there is now a Reformed Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
.,,.,.

Ah yes ~~ the Orthodox Bolognesians are being seriously challenged by the Reform Carbonarites. There is even talk of a Heinzintomatosauce sect beginning to gain some influence in one or two canning-factory areas.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Ed T
Date: 20 Oct 13 - 08:00 AM

""It is a well researched, pretty well proven fact that the object of religion is controlling the masses.""

I normally ignore statements that say things like "it is...a pretty much proven fact", as they are rarely factual at all. However, leaving out the appearance of "supernatural" beings (aka gods and their messengers, my observation is that it is interesting is how the lure of a belief in a deity has existed in one form or another from ancient times. That would leave some to believe that most humans are "receptive" to associated religious organizations. Many of the organizations have established a "code of conduct", which they feel will please these deities. Interestingly, many of the "codes" are quite similar, and seem to move forward with social changes in the civilizations. Some have also been used to promote specific "agendas" of rulers, or those who wish to oversee countries and resources.

It is not likely that what is stated by Musket is not accurate, as it is doubtful that this is the object of all religions throughout history. However, I suspect it would not take much research to show that many humans (aka, so called leaders)used religion, in one way or another, to enhance their ability to control a population. However, that does not mean it is the purpose of religion itself.

Something that is made for one purpose, can be used for many other purposes. But, that does not change the objective of the original purpose.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket curious
Date: 20 Oct 13 - 09:08 AM

Not likely. .. stated by me. .. Not accurate.

Mind if I take that as agreement?

We do appear to be pack animals and there are many studies out there to demonstrate that. To say that any benevolent feature of any religion was the origin of that religion is pushing against the evidence though. The religious ideal as we know it came from medieval control techniques, supporting the warrior kings and doing well out of it.

Michael. If you must quote Pastafarian history, at least wear a cullender on your head out of deference to the noodly one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 20 Oct 13 - 09:28 AM

In our 'Strict Lockshen' sect, Mr Gunn, the Colander is slung by a string of tagliatelle over the left shoulder. Surely you knew that. We shouldn't dream of wearing it on our heads like the heretical Raviolists.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket evolving slowly
Date: 20 Oct 13 - 02:07 PM

I typed colander but the phone thought I was daft. I googled and it reckoned cullender. I wasn't happy but cross Google and your credit rating can lower.

So. .. on this and possibly this alone, I bow to Michael and retract my spelling as he is far better at use of language than I am.

Ok. I can swear better than he can and some of his posts are. .. well we'll not go there.

But he can spell.

Although he knows fook all about pastafarianism. Incidentally, a couple of years ago, I had to complete a monitoring form which asked my religion. As the nearest to not applicable was "atheist" and my refusal to be associated with the term I quickly did a search, found the noodles and signed up.

Then I proudly wrote it in the "other" box.

So I suppose I am a member of s religion other than Sheffield Wednesday. Scary thought. ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Just a passing thought
Date: 22 Oct 13 - 04:58 AM

All interesting comments, but as someone who does not follow a religion, I'm always interested in hearing from people who do and the reasons as to why they have chosen to follow that particular religion over all the others.
Would anyone be prepared to share this or is this not the right arena


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Oct 13 - 06:00 AM

That's a challenging question, Passing Thought. I did my best to say what it all meant to me once upon a few months ago, and I got burned. But what the hell - I'll do it again. It seems to me that most religious groups have mystical roots, ideas that stimulate the imagination and take a person to unknown places. And then other people see that and are drawn to it, but they can't quite take the chance of following their imaginations into the unknown. As a result, they come up with a replica of that mystical quest, without the risk - and that results in rules and doctrines. It's still an honest attempt, but it lacks depth and constantly needs reform.
I guess I'm on the fringe of all that mystical stuff, and I find it intriguing. In that space, there are no answers, no rules, no structures - only questions to explore. So, I spend my life exploring what is the nature of goodness, of beauty, of peace - and it's a fascinating place to be. I like the religious ritual and tradition because it takes me to good places; but it's all a journey into uncertainty, seeking the ultimate good.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 22 Oct 13 - 06:08 AM

Best religion!


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Oct 13 - 07:08 AM

Ayup, I'd go for that, Mr. Happy! God would go for it, too. I have it on pretty good authority that God doesn't like the pretentious shit.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Just a passing thought
Date: 22 Oct 13 - 07:35 AM

Thanks Jo & Mr. Happy, but come the rest of you be brave and share your thoughts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: kendall
Date: 22 Oct 13 - 10:31 AM

I'm a Deist. It's the only thing that makes sense to me.

I'm not a sheep, therefore, I have no need of a shepherd.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 23 Oct 13 - 02:56 AM

Good for you!..you ol' goat!!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,The good professor
Date: 23 Oct 13 - 04:34 AM

Woof! Grrrrr...    Woof!


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket the serious III
Date: 23 Oct 13 - 07:36 AM

Ok passing thought. Cards on table.

I was first conscious of my calling when I was old enough to accompany my brother and to be there with all the other people, each with a purpose, each professing their faith.

As I grew to be an adult, I saw the commonality of people from all walks of life, singing together in wondrous adulation of the anointed ones. Each young lad hoping that one day, he too may be good enough to be revered by the whole of the community.

I saw the false prophets, in fact they seemed to get more air time on the telly than my particular faith, but my faith was the true faith. I attended most weeks, sometimes twice. Each time was a joy, a revelation. Sometimes, you left feeling sad, sometimes elated but the group worship was and is an important part of the religious experience.

My family before me, and my own two boys.. Yes, we go together when possible, sometimes meeting there. My granddaughter will hopefully join us one day.*

That's my faith. I love my faith, I grudgingly accept that others have Faiths of a different colour but it is part of me. Always has been, always will.




* So long as she doesn't keep asking bloody questions about the offside rule and how to apply it......


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Oct 13 - 10:12 AM

A good confession Musket.
I offer you my general absolution for any bad acts you may have done, without any penance, (of course) if that helps.
:)


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 23 Oct 13 - 04:26 PM

What Kendall said!

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket getting nostalgic
Date: 23 Oct 13 - 06:13 PM

If you are offering me penance for bad acts, I would like the following to be taken into consideration. .

Various folk festivals when having to be helped onto the stage through being rather refreshed.

A gig once when I took pain killers and night nurse before getting on stage. (Saw it on utube.. luckily it was under the stage name rather than Ian. ...)

Just about every punk band I was a member of back in the 70's...

I have already done penance. Scunthorpe Baths circa 1980.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket evolving slowly
Date: 24 Oct 13 - 03:44 AM

Absolution. Not penance.

Sorry. Can't get the hang of this religion stuff.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 24 Oct 13 - 04:03 AM

No you can't.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 24 Oct 13 - 05:26 AM

Religion is similar to ethnicity: normally you do not choose it, you are it, regardless of what you think of its representatives and prevailing ideologies. For example, if Salman Rushdie is called a "British Indian novelist" in Wikipedia, he can also be described as an "atheist Muslim".

There can be good reasons to change one's religious or ethnic affiliation, such as marrying into another community. However, those who hope to strip off their unwanted identity simply by declaring themselves, say, Tibetan Buddhists, are likely to fail miserably. The Dalai Lama often finds it necessary to warn of that.

As for myself, due to my somewhat volatile biography I cannot be more precise than to call myself a European Christian. This does not oblige me to submit myself to any authority. On the other hand, leadership is a fact of life, so we must face it critically.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket gettin.. can't be arsed
Date: 24 Oct 13 - 10:19 AM

Neither can you Keith. The difference being I don't try.

You must send me a copy of the a la carte menu some time. I always assumed religion meant eating off the set menu.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Just a passing thought
Date: 24 Oct 13 - 10:48 AM

just a passing thought musket, how do you know your's is the 'True Faith'


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket evolving slowly
Date: 24 Oct 13 - 11:04 AM

It has been since 1867.

Some heathens and false prophets will look to statistics to say which is the best faith and to be fair, Man Utd would get the statistically best faith.

But don't confuse that with the true faith.

Sheffield Wednesday FC. Up the Owls!


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Just a passing thought
Date: 24 Oct 13 - 11:21 AM

Oh dear Musket not the Wednesday!!!!!!!!!!!
At least it's in the right County.
But on a serious note being a fan of a particular team whether it be Footie or another sport is like following a faith. In fact in many conversations I've had with people, I've used the example of Footie fans as a way of putting my point of view across in that Footie / your belief in God is the common factor but many support different teams / have different faiths!!!!
And I can't see why so many have an interest in either of them !!


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 24 Oct 13 - 11:41 AM

Well fuck me, I've heard it all now - a bloody owls fan claiming to be 'rational' and 'normal'!

I've got news for you Muskrat - you're the one who's delusional round here. And at least the religious ones amongst us have actually got a friend, even if he's 'imaginary' - nobody wants to be an Owls supporter's friend, even an 'imaginary' one (except maybe another abnormal, irrational, delusional Owls fan).


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 24 Oct 13 - 12:54 PM

Yeah Backwoodsman. I have so many mates back in Sheffield, nice clever regular people with the usual number of fingers etc, that I had to move to Billy no Mates Lincolnshire to get some peace and quiet.... I was hoping The Isle was surrounded by water. Sadly, it's surrounded by dozy buggers like thee.

Up the Owls!

(Mind you, the border to South Yorkshire is walking distance so no need to feel too isolated and vulnerable.)


Anyway, you blind bat. Read one of the first posts to this thread, by yours truly.



Hey passing thought. I have regularly compared religious faith with football faith. Many comparisons, just as hard wired, just as testing... (This season more than some if I am being honest.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 24 Oct 13 - 01:45 PM

Yep, I was feeling a bit bad about hitting below the belt, and stooping to the kind of tactics that you yourself employ in order to wind up your victims, but your reply brought me to my senses! I'm fine now!

Not blind BTW, just can't be arsed to trail through the bollox that The Usual Suspects bunch have rabbited on about on this and the 'persecution' thread. The usual dogmatic bullshit from the usual dogmatic bullshitters, all trying to 'win' an un-winnable argument, all too brainwashed by their dogmas and too in love with their own bullshit to realise they can't win.

But still, a bit of a wind-up never really hurts anyone, does it? :-) :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket evolving slowly
Date: 24 Oct 13 - 03:39 PM

Never hurts me. I couldn't give it out otherwise.

My tactics are mine, copyrighted and in any case, purely there to prick the bubble of pomposity.

Snag is, that in itself sounds pompous. ....

Stick to the footy. Far safer. Especially in S6.

Up the Owls!


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 24 Oct 13 - 03:51 PM

Two things I never discuss - my spiritual beliefs (or perhaps lack of them ) and my footy affiliations!

But I do have to say that if it was compulsory to support either the Owls or the Blades, I'd wear blue. As it isn't, I don't!   :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Oct 13 - 04:27 PM

Earlier this morning, Grishka said something that I think should be noted:
    Religion is similar to ethnicity: normally you do not choose it, you are it, regardless of what you think of its representatives and prevailing ideologies. For example, if Salman Rushdie is called a "British Indian novelist" in Wikipedia, he can also be described as an "atheist Muslim".

I generally share this non-ideological view of religion, but it certainly doesn't apply as well to the ideological types like fundamentalist Christians (and Muslims, to an extent). American Protestantism tends toward this "proper ideology" perspective, but it's mostly the fundamentalists in every religious group that get bound up in this obsession with being in possession of the truth. For them, "correct" ideology is the be-all and end-all of religion. And like it or not, there are a lot of atheists for whom "correct" ideology is equally important. Maybe there's validity in Grishka's thinking even on this - certain people come from a background that prizes ideological correctness, and it is these people who make the most strident religionists or atheists.

For the rest of us, we are individuals who come from a context that includes ethnic and cultural and religious (or non-religious) traditions, and we view the world and life from our own context. Our ideas are influenced by the context from which we spring - but our thinking is not dictated by that context. If we're honest about it, we know that our particular context is neither "best" nor "worst" - it simply is, warts and all. And in that case, the question which is the basis of this entire discussion, is moot.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 24 Oct 13 - 04:32 PM

And there it is, gentlemen - game, set and match!
Or, if you prefer - QED.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket evolving slowly
Date: 24 Oct 13 - 05:55 PM

A bit like the cultural or heritage Christianity label. I have no issue whatsoever with the cultural heritage of my community being steeped in Christian history. You are what you are.

But we also have choices.

That frightens many people. The rearguard action of the church, in the face of losing influence is quite disturbing. The ones I feel sorry for are the many within the church of England who would embrace the notion of women bishops but the rules mean the vote of the laity dictates that the church remains out of step with reality and wishes to command rather than earn respect of the population they wish to remain in judgement of through the Lords Spiritual.

The position of the Catholic Church in offering sanctuary to vicars who exhibit misogyny is a stain on the concept of following a set faith.

Yet personal faith seems to me to have the direction and purpose of a jelly fish.

No. To be honest, on reflection, keep the tradition, lose the control freakery. Be judged if you must be by your deeds not your affiliations.

The more you wonder what the term blasphemy means, the less you care for the long term future of an ideology that has to exist more and more on merit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 25 Oct 13 - 01:11 AM

Musket, sans reflective cognizance,

"Absolution. Not penance.
Sorry. Can't get the hang of this religion stuff."

Bet me!..Your problem is that you can't let go!

GfS

P.S....that explains your bitterness...


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Oct 13 - 03:08 AM

Musket sez: The position of the Catholic Church in offering sanctuary to vicars who exhibit misogyny is a stain on the concept of following a set faith.

I guess I'd agree, Musket. Pope Benedict's policy of opening the doors of the Catholic Church to discontented Anglican misogenists and homophobes, makes me very nervous. So does the recent interest many fundamentalist Christians have shown in joining the Catholic Church.

They may be surprised to learn once they join the Catholic Church, that there is no "set faith"; and many Catholics will disagree with their misogyny and homophobia.

But John Paul II died and Benedict resigned, so maybe now we won't offer such a comfortable refuge for extremists from the right. And maybe we who found such hope in Vatican II and its doctrines of openness and generosity, will once again feel comfortable in our own church.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket evolving slowly
Date: 25 Oct 13 - 04:23 AM

My beef all along has been one of an institution failing to remain relevant to an increasingly questioning public. The rise of fundamentalism, in many religions, is to my mind a reflection of losing control so combating it with assertion.

Why should I care? Because a grown up mature function would be an asset but the continuing out of step with society approach of many religions hastens their demise. Even a non member like me would think that sad. I support a multi denominational chaplaincy team in hospital care and see them as tangible healthcare provision. Considering the vast majority of our patients do not tick any specific religion box, their supportive role is, once explained, welcomed by many. It helps hasten recovery or make palliative care more comfortable.

But whilstever leaders of religious organisations polarise or abuse their place in society, the social care element, hard wired in everyone, including we cynics, will be vulnerable to being lost. And that would be throwing out the baby with the bath water.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket sans the good professor
Date: 25 Oct 13 - 04:32 AM

Thanks for the analysis Goofus. The cheque is in the post.

I would like to book some more of your analysis if that's alright.   Perhaps my agent could discuss a price package with you.

Are you ready boy?

Woof!

You have a good bargaining discussion with ol'Goofus.

Woof! Woof! Grrr.   Woof! Slurp.......

Stop it boy! You don't have any! The vet lopped them off, remember?

Slurp slurp grrrrrrr. Slurp.

Sorry about that Goofus. You don't sem to be high priority for him. .....


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Just a passing thought
Date: 25 Oct 13 - 05:06 AM

Just a passing thought, where does the ideas of Erich Von Daniken fit in with this debate then, I know that he has been discredited by a whole host of people since he came out with the idea of God being a Spaceman, but what do you lot think?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Musket curious
Date: 25 Oct 13 - 05:14 AM

Chris de Burgh made a few bob from the idea though?

Von Daniken failed to recognise the entertainment value of his idea. Mind you, science fiction novelists were grateful of the concept. Spawned a veritable mountain of pulp fiction.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,tele tubbie
Date: 25 Oct 13 - 08:23 AM

Lar, lar lar lar lar lar lar lar lar

Why did that Chris de Burgh pick on me ?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: Bill D
Date: 25 Oct 13 - 11:02 AM

Grishka also said: " However, those who hope to strip off their unwanted identity simply by declaring themselves, say, Tibetan Buddhists, are likely to fail miserably."

I knew a woman who 'asserted' that she was Buddist, but was actually trying to act as a Jain..(opposed to killing or eating ANYTHING which might have a soul-like component.) We had long discussions with her about eating eggs that were fertilized. She hated roaches, but would not spray or squish them... she'd scoop them up in a towel and throw them out in the snow!
"But Pat," we'd say,"How do you think they'll survive out there?" "Oh, then It's not MY worry...I just want them out of my kitchen, what God does with them is his business." She just kinda grafted on a few ideas and tried to justify her approach in awkward ways.

The best reading I ever saw on by someone who had tried several religions..then discarded acutal 'belief' was "Faith of a Heretic" by Walter Kaufmann- former Philosophy prof. at Princeton

He understood what 'belief' means and the historical perspectives involved. There is an entire book in PDF... but read that on page to get the idea.

He also wrote "Critique of Religion and Philosophy"


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Subject: RE: BS: Religion, which is the best one?
From: GUEST,Just a passing thought
Date: 28 Oct 13 - 08:08 AM

it Was interesting the amount of folk that bought his book


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